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Tl]e  Holy  Family. 


m{  EVERY  DAY  \\  THE  YEAR. 



Pastor  of  St.  Stephen's  Church,  New  York.  ^ 



New  York,  Cincinnati,  and  St.  Louis; 






Archbishop  of  New  York. 

Copyright,  1878,  by  Benziger  Brothers. 

LC  Control  Number 

tmP96  031449 

Philadelphia,  August  6,  1878. 
Your  popular  Lives  of  the  Saints  is  well  digested  and  beautifully  illustrated.  We 
trust  it  will  have  a  wide  circulation. 

Very  sincerely  and  respectfully,  your  obedient  servant  in  Christ, 

t  JAMES  F.  WOOD,  Archbishop  of  Philadelphia. 

Milwaukee,  August  24,  1878. 
Gratefully  acknowledging  the  receipt  of  an  elegant  copy  of  the  Pictorial  Lives  of  the  Saints, 
we  hereby  cheerfully  approve  and  recommend  the  same  to  every  Christian  reader. 

With  sincere  regards,  yours,  most  thankfully, 

t  JOHN  M.  HENNI,  Archbishop  of  Milwaukee. 

Cathedral,  Erie,  Pa.,  August  6,  1878. 
I  highly  approve  of  your  Lives  of  the  Saints,  as  many  Catholics  unable  to  purchase  the 
valuable  but,  to  them,  expensive  work  of  Alban  Butler  will  find  in  the  book  substantially  all  that 
that  eminent  writer  has  collected  at  so  much  labor  and  cost,  and  thus,  at  a  comparatively  small  price, 
can  secure  all  that  is  really  worth  knowing  regarding  the  Saints  of  God. 

Yours  sincerely,  t  TOBIAS,  Bishop  0/  Erie. 

Chicago,  August  7,  1878. 
Your  Pictorial  Lives  of  the  Saints  is  a  most  readable  book,  full  of  instruction,  well  printed 
on  fine  paper.    I  hope  it  may  find  its  way  into  every  Catholic  household  in  the 
land.  Very  respectfully,  t  THOMAS  FOLEY,  Bishop  Adm.,  Chicago 

Ogdensburg,  August  8,  1878. 
I  have  just  returned  home  to  receive  an  elegantly  bound  copy  of  the  Pictorial  Lives  of  the 
Saints  published  by  your  house,  with  the  "  Imprimatur"  of  his  Eminence  the  Archbishop  of  New 
York.    A  more  attractive  work  of  the  kind  I  have  not  seen  ;  and  I  hope  it  will  be  read  and 
Circulated  among  the  people.  Very  sincerely  in  Christ, 

+  E.  P.  WADHAMS,  Bishop  0/  Ogdensburg. 

Greenbay,  August  9,  1878. 
I  hereby  acknowledge  the  receipt  of  the  book,  Pictorial  Lives  of  the  Saints,  published  by 
you.    You  may  add  my  name  to  that  of  Cardinal  McCloskey  and  other  Prelates  for  approbation.  I 

cannot  say  nor  wish  any  thing  better  than  what  Dr.  McGlynn  says  in  the  preface 

of  the  work,  after  having  looked  it  over  carefully. 

Yours  most  respectfully,  t  F.  KRAUTBAUER,  Epp. 

St.  Paul.  August  10,  1878. 
The  copy  of  Pictorial  Lives  of  the  Saints  which  you  have  been  so  kind  as  to  send  me  is  a 
book  I  would  wish  to  see  in  every  household.    In  this  age  of  materialism  the  spirit  of  piety  is  in 
danger  of  dying  out,  and  there  is  hardly  a  more  effective  means  to  preserve  it  alive  and  active  than 
in  keeping  before  us  the  example  of  the  lives  and  the  holy  maxims  of  the  Saints.    Your  book  is 

well  calculated  in  all  its  features  to  attract  readers,  and  in  this  lies  its  special  merit 
and  its  claim  to  our  heartiest  commendation. 

Respectfully  and  sincerely  yours,  t  THOMAS  L.  GRACE,  Bishop  of  St.  Paul. 

Columbus,  O.,  August  11,  1878. 
Your  Pictorial  Lives  of  the  Saints  brings  in  a  new  era  of  Catholic  enterprise.     It  is 
admirable.  Yours  respectfully,  t  S.  H.  ROSECRANS,  Bishop  of  Columbus. 

,  Cathedral,  Scranton,  Pa.,  August  12,  1878. 

Your  recent  work,  Pictorial  Lives  of  the  Saints,  has  been  received,  for  which  please  accept 
my  thanks.  The  lives  are  short,  practical,  and  give  a  sufficient  outline  of  the  pilgrimage  and  trials 
of  the  Saints  on  earth. 

I  am  sure  it  is  a  work  that  will  do  a  great  deal  of  good  among  the  faithful  at  large, 
and  the  illustrations  will  make  it  particularly  acceptable  to  Catholic  youth. 

t  WM.  O'HARA,  Bishop  of  Scranton. 

Buffalo,  August  14,  1878. 
We  beg  to  acknowledge  the  receipt  of  your  Pictorial  Lives  of  the  Saints,  for  which  please 
accept  our  thanks. 

"We  are  much  pleased  with  the  book,  and  authorize  you  to  use  our  name  in 
approbation  of  it,  hoping  that  the  bright  and  attractive  volume  will  entice  the  public,  the  young 
particularly,  to  read  about,  and  then  love  and  imitate,  the  Saints. 

t  S.  V.  RYAN,  Bishop  of  Buffalo. 

Bishop's  House,  Louisville,  August  15,  1878. 
By  making  them  familiar  with  the  lives  of  the  Martyrs  and  Confessors  of  the  Church,  this  book 
seems  admirably  adapted  to  the  religious  instruction  of  children,  and  I  would  therefore  earnestly 
recommend  its  introduction  into  every  Catholic  household. 

Your  obedient  servant,  t  WM.  GEO.  McCLOSKEY,  Bishop  of  Louisville. 

Fort  Wayne,  August  16,  1878. 
The  Pictorial  Lives  of  the  Saints,  by  Edward  McGlynn,  D.D..  will  prove  to  be  a  very  edify 
ng  and  desirable  book  in  Catholic  families,  Yours  in  Christ, 

t  JOSEPH  DWENGER,  Bishop  of  Fort  Wayne. 

St.  Cloud,  Minn.,  August  17,  1878. 
These  Lives  of  the  Saints  are  short  and  to  the  point,  and  by  their  cheapness  as  well  as  short- 
ness will  enable  poor  people  to  buy  them  and  read  them,  which  will  hardly  be  the  case  with  the 
larger  editions  already  published.    I  have  no  hesitation  to  say  that  they  "Will  do  a  great  deal 

of  good,  and  have  my  hearty  recommendation. 

+  RUPERT  SELDENBUSH,  O.  S.  B.,  Bishop. 

Cathedral  of  the  Immaculate  Conception,  ( 
Leavenworth,  Kan.,  August  18,  1878.  f 
Having  examined  your  late  publication,  the  Pictorial  Lives  of  the  Saints,  which  you  had 
the  kindness  to  send  me,  I  take  great  pleasure  in  recommending  ,the  work  to  the  public.  It  supplies 
a  want  long  felt  by  English-speaking  Catholics,  as  it  places  within  their  reach  a  cheap  and  popular 
edition  of  the  lives  of  the  Saints.  As  nothing  can  more  conduce  to  foster  a  spirit  of  piety  among 
the  faithful  than  this  kind  of  reading,  I  trust  it  will  receive  a  widespread  circulation  and  become  a 
household  book  in  every  Catholic  family,  and  I  will  do  "what  I  can  to  encourage  its 
circulation  in  my  diocese.  Very  truly  yours, 

t  LOUIS  M.  FINK.  O.  S.  B.,  Bishop  of  Leavenworth. 

Savannah,  August  19,  1878. 
Our  country  is  flooded  with  "  dime''  novels,  the  life  and  adventures  of  robbers,  pirates,  and  other 
miscreants,  male  and  female.  This  poisonous  food  is  presented  to  the  young  of  our  country  in  a 
most  attractive  manner.  The  daily  newspapers  witness  the  fearful  and  unheard  of  spread  and  in- 
crease of  crime  among  children  who  should  be  clad  in  the  white  robe  of  their  baptismal  innocence, 
and  happily  ignorant  of  such  filth.  This  new  work  on  The  Lives  of  the  Saints  is  therefore  a 
style  of  books  which  we  need.  Instead  of  the  lives  of  adulterers,  robbers,  and  murderers,  let  the 
dear  little  ones  read  the  lives  of  a  St.  Agnes,  a  St.  Cecilia,  a  St.  Paul,  a  St.  Francis,  and  the  other 
countless  heroes  and  models  of  beautiful  virtue.  The  incidents  which  fill  to  repletion  the  lives  of  the 
Saints  are  as  interesting  as  a  novel,  and  if  they  are  not  as  attractive  to  the  child,  it  is  owing  to  the 
want  of  skill,  taste,  and  judgment  on  the  part  of  him  who  attempts  to  write  the  lives  cf  the  Saints. 
Your  new  edition  of  Lives  of  the  Saints  has  the  merit  of  brevity — children  do  not  like  long 
stories.  As  far  as  my  rapid  glance  over  them  permitted  me  to  judge,  they  are 
also  "Well  "Written.  I  admire  especially  the  engravings.  For  their  fine  Catholic  tone  and  artistic 
merit  they  forcibly  remind  one  of  the  splendid  wood-cuts  which  ornament  the  rich  Catholic  literature 
of  Germany.  These  engravings  will  render  your  book  particularly  attractive,  and  also  instructive  to 
the  young,  though  I  trust  that  many  older  ones  may  not  deem  it  amiss  to  read  the  "  Gospel  put  in 
practice,"  as  ascetics  call  the  lives  of  the  Saints. 

I  pray  that  your  new  work  may  be  read  by  many  for  the  greater  glory  of  God  and 
the  good  of  souls.  t  WM.  H.  GROSS,  C.SS.R,  Bishop  of  Savannah. 

Galveston,  August  27,  1878. 
I  hereby  approve  of  your  Pictorial  Lives  of  the  Saints,  and  I  hope  that  a  great  many 
Catholics  will  buy  this  very  interesting  work,  wherein  they  will  find  how  we  all  can 
reach  heaven  in  following  the  example  given  us  by  the  Saints. 

Yours  truly,  t  C.  M.  DUBUIS,  Bishop  of  Galveston. 

Peoria,  August  22,  1878. 
Please  accept  my  thanks  for  the  handsome  copy  of  your  Pictorial  Lives  of  the  Saints.  The 
plan  is  good,  the  compilation  well  made,  and  you  have  published  the  book  in 
admirable  Style.    It  will,  I  hope,  find  its  way  into  every  Catholic  family  in  the  land. 

J.  L.  SPALDING.  Bishop  of  Peoria. 

Wheeling,  September  3,  1878. 
We  have  received  a  copy  of  the  Pictorial  Lives  of  the  Saints,  for  which  accept  our  thanks. 
It  is  a  work  which  will  be  welcomed  by  many  devout  persons  who  love  to  study 
the  lives  and  heroic  deeds  of  the  Saints,  but  who  have  not  time  to  peruse  lengthy  details. 

Yours  truly  in  Christ,  t  JOHN  J.  KAIN,  Bishop  of  Wheeling. 


HE  utility  of  reading  and  pondering  the  lives  of  the  Saints  is  sufficiently 
commended  by  the  example  of  the  Saints  themselves.  What  seemed  so 
good  to  their  clearer  vision  must  therefore  seem  good  to  us,  even  though  we  may 
not  as  readily  discern  the  reasonableness,  nor  as  fully  experience  the  advantages, 
of  the  practice.  Yet  the  reasons  are  obvious  enough  ;  and  even  the  briefest  casual 
experience  cannot  fail  to  confirm  them. 

It  were  too  long  to  even  allude  to  a  tithe  of  the  instances  of  Saints  who  received 
special  impulse  to  sanctity  by  considering  the  example  of  other  Saints,  and  who, 
in  their  preaching  and  writings,  commend  to  us  what  had  proved  so  salutary  to 
themselves.  But  we  may  recall,  as  an  illustration,  the  instance  of  Saint  Augustine, 
who  tells  us  in  his  Confessions  how  he  was  impelled  to  conversion  by  the  thought 
of  the  virtues  of  others  more  ignorant  and  less  favored  in  many  respects  than 
himself,  and  how  he  reproached  and  stimulated  himself  with  the  words:  "And 
art  thou  not  able  to  do  what  these  men  and  these  women  do?"  The  well-known 
instance  of  St.  Ignatius  of  Loyola,  is  specially  pertinent  to  our  present  purpose, 
as  a  proof  of  the  utility  of  compiling  and  circulating  the  Lives  of  the  Saints. 
While  recovering  from  the  effects  of  injuries  received  in  warfare,  finding  the  time, 
tedious,  he  called  for  some  book  of  romances,  in  which  he  had  always  taken 
much  delight.  None  such  being  found,  a  book  of  the  Lives  of  the  Saints  was 
brought  to  him.  He  read  them  first  to  pass  away  the  time,  but  afterward  began 
to  relish  them,  and  spend  whole  days  in  reading  them  ;  and,  at  last,  in  language 
similar  to  that  of  St.  Augustine,  he  said  to  himself:  "These  men  were  of  the  same 
frame  that  I  am  of;  why  then  should  I  not  do  what  they  have  done?"  This  was 
the  beginning  of  his  conversion.  May  we  not  with  reason  urge  the  immense 
benefits  to  the  cause  of  Christian  piety  and  Christian  learning,  which  have  flowed 
from  the  conversion  of  these  two  great  men,  as  a  powerful  argument  in  favor  of 
the  practice  which  we  are  commending? 

That  such  should  be  the  effect  of  reading  the  Lives  of  the  Saints,  is  but  a 
natural  consequence  of  the  plan  after  which  God  has  made  us.  We  are  creatures 
of  the  imagination,  and,  as  a  matter  of  experience,  are  more  readily  and  forcibly 
moved  by  incidents  and  images  than  by  abstract  truths  or  theories.  This  is  the 
teaching  of  the  worldly-wise  classic  pagan  poet,  who  tells  us  that  if  we  would  be 
truly  eloquent,  we  must  present  truths  as  if  in  a  picture,  because  men's  minds  are 



less  easily  stirred  by  what  they  hear  than  by  what  is  put  before  their  eyes.  In  this 
respect  we  are  all  but  children  of  greater  or  less  growth,  and  we  are  all  fonder 
of  a  story  than  of  a  dissertation.  Does  not  our  Lord  himself  commend  this  truth 
by  taking  our  nature  to  preach  to  us  by  example  as  well  as  by  word?  And  do 
we  not  read  :  "With  many  such  parables  He  spoke  to  them  the  word,  and  without 
parable  He  did  not  speak  unto  them?"  The  sacraments  which  He  instituted,  the 
ceremonies  of  His  Church,  the  use  of  sacred  images  and  pictures,  are  all  argu- 
ments and  illustrations  of  the  same  truth. 

What  are  the  lives  of  the  Saints  but  so  many  embodiments  and  reproductions 
of  the  teachings  and  examples  of  Christ?  He  only  is  a  Saint  in  whom  Christ 
finds  this  copying  of  himself  carried  to  the  heroic  degree,  by  co-operation  with 
His  grace  ;  and  the  beatification  and  canonization  of  Saints  by  the  Church  may  be 
said  to  be  but  an  authoritative  declaration  of  the  authenticity,  fidelity,  and  accu- 
racy of  the  portrait. 

In  pondering,  then,  the  lives  of  the  Saints,  we  are  but  contemplating  so  many 
illustrations  and  pictures  of  the  teachings  and  examples  of  Christ.  What  wonder 
that  they  should  move  us  with  a  force  akin  to  that  with  which  He  swayed  the 
hearts  of  those  who  saw  Him  and  heard  Him?  What  wonder  that  we,  of  the  same 
nature  as  they,  should  be  encouraged  by  their  example  to  emulate  it  in  becoming 
more  Christlike  ? 

It  is  a  matter  for  congratulation  that  these  compendious  sketches  of  the  Lives 
of  the  Saints  should  be  published,  and  in  their  present  form.  While  they  cannot 
take  the  place  of  more  copious  works,  full  of  instruction  and  edifying  incident, 
yet,  by  their  very  cheapness  and  brevity,  they  will  bring  the  Lives  of  the  Saints 
nearer  to  the  reach  of  many  of  limited  means  and  leisure,  while  to  every  one  they 
ofter  more  readily  a  precious  little  spiritual  nosegay,  with  which  to  gladden,  to 
sweeten,  and  to  adorn  the  life  of  each  day  in  all  the  year.  May  God's  blessing 
make  the  little  book  thus  fruitful  to  thousands  of  souls. 

Feast  of  the  Ascension,  1878. 

The  Movable  Feasts. 

OVABLE  FEASTS  are  so  called  because  they  have  no 
fixed  place  in  the  calendar :  their  celebration  happening 
sooner  or  later,  year  by  year,  according  as  the  feast  of 
Easter  itself  occurs  at  a  different  period.  The  latter  feast  is 
always  celebrated  on  the  Sunday  which  accompanies  or  follows 
the  first  full  moon  after  the  spring  equinox.  As  the  movable 
feasts  afford  useful  lessons,  we  ought  to  take  them  fully  to  heart. 


HE  time  of  Advent  cannot  exactly  be  considered  festal,  nor 
can  it  be  classed  among  the  movable  feasts ;  and  yet  the  first 
day  of  Advent  is,  in  another  sense,  movable,  inasmuch  as  it 
happens  always  on  the  fourth  Sunday  before  Christmas — which  fes- 
tival itself  falls  on  different  days  of  the  week.  Advent  means  com- 
ing, and  the  four  weeks  whereof  it  consists  represent  the  four  thou- 
sand years  which  preceded  the  coming  of  the  Son  of  God  into  this 
world.  Formerly,  Advent-time  was  observed  by  fasting,  absti- 
nence, and  mortification,  but  not  in  a  manner  so  rigorous  as 
that  of  Lent.  Notwithstanding  the  alleviations  which  the  Church 
has  thought  well  to  introduce  in  the  course  of  time,  Advent 
has  still  remained  a  period  of  recollection  and  prayer.  The 
true  Christian  ought  to  take  advantage  thereof,  and  by  pious 
yearnings  entreat  for  the  coming  of  the  Son  of  God  into  his 
heart  by  grace,  and  into  the  world  at  large  by  the  spreading  of  the 

Reflection. — "  All  the  days  in  which  I  am  now  in  warfare  I 
await  until  my  change  come.  Thou  shalt  call  me,  and  I  will 
answer  Thee." 




tUINQUAGESIMA  SUNDAY  is  the  third  day  preceding 
Ash  Wednesday.  That  holy  season  is  approaching  when 
the  Church  denies  herself  her  songs  of  joy  in  order  the  more 
forcibly  to  remind  us,  her  children,  that  we  are  living  in  a  Babylon 
of  spiritual  danger,  and  to  excite  us  to  regain  that  genuine  Chris- 
tian spirit  which  every  thing  in  the  world  around  us  is  striving  to 
undermine.  If  we  are  obliged  to  take  part  in  the  amusements  of 
the  few  days  before  Lent,  let  it  be  with  a  heart  deeply  imbued  with 
the  maxims  of  the  Gospel.  But,  as  a  substitute  for  frivolous 
amusements  and  dangerous  pleasures,  the  Church  oilers  a  feast 
surpassing  all  earthly  enjoyments,  and  a  means  whereby  we  can 
make  some  amends  to  God  for  the  insults  offered  to  His  divine 
majesty.  The  Lamb  that  taketh  away  the  sins  of  the  world  is  ex- 
posed upon  our  altars.  On  this  His  throne  of  mercy  He  receives 
the  homage  of  those  who  come  to  adore  Him  and  acknowledge  Him 
for  their  King  ;  He  accepts  the  repentance  of  those  who  come  to  tell 
Him  how  grieved  they  are  at  having  followed  any  other  Master ; 
and  He  offers  Himself  again  to  His  Eternal  Father  as  a  propitiation 
for  those  sinners  who  yet  treat  His  favors  with  indifference.  It  was 
the  pious  Cardinal  Gabriel  Paleotti,  Archbishop  of  Bologna,  who, 
in  the  sixteenth  century,  first  originated  the  admirable  devotion 
of  the  Forty  Hours.  His  object  in  this  solemn  exposition  of  the  Most 



Blessed  Sacrament  was  to  offer  to  the  Divine  Majesty  some  com- 
pensation for  the  sins  of  man,  and,  at  the  very  time  when  the  world 
was  busiest  in  deserving  His  anger,  to  appease  it  by  the  sight  of  His 
own  Son,  the  Mediator  between  heaven  and  earth.  Pope  Bene- 
dict XIV.  granted  many  indulgences  to  all  the  faithful  of  the 
Papal  States  who,  during  these  days,  should  visit  Our  Lord  in  this 
mystery  of  His  love,  and  should  pray  for  the  pardon  of  sinners. 
This  favor,  at  first  so  restricted,  afterward  was  extended  by  Pope 
Clement  XIII.  to  the  Universal  Church.  Thus  the  Forty  Hours' 
Devotion  has  spread  throughout  the  whole  world  and  become  one 
of  the  most  solemn  expressions  of  Catholic  piety. 

Reflection. — Let  us  then  go  apart,  for  at  least  one  short  hour, 
from  the  dissipation  of  earthly  enjoyments,  and,  kneeling  in  the 
presence  of  our  Jesus,  merit  the  grace  to  keep  our  hearts  innocent 
and  detached. 


AN,  drawn  from  the  dust,  must  return  to  it,  and  all  that  he 
does  meanwhile,  with  the  exception  of  what  good  he  may 
achieve,  is  but  dust  and  vanity ;  the  good  alone  survives. 
Such  are  the  truths  which  the  Church  wishes  to  engrave  in  the 
memory,  but  still  more  in  the  hearts  of  her  children,  by  the  sprink- 
ling of  ashes  on  this  first  day  of  Lent.     This  custom  dates  from 
the  first  centuries  of  the  Church,  and  was  then  observed,  not 
toward  all  the  faithful  without  distinction,  but  toward  public 
sinners  who  had  submitted  themselves  to  canonical  penance,  to 
obtain  thereby  reconciliation  with  the  Church  and  admission 
to  a  share  in  the  Divine  Eucharist.     The  bishop  imposed  on 
them  the  obligation  of  wearing  the  hair-shirt  and  penitent  garb, 
placing  ashes  on  their  head,  and  then  excluding  them  from  the 
church  until  the  day  of  Easter.    Meanwhile,  they  had  to  remain 
humbly  prostrate  at  the  church-porch,  imploring  the  prayers  of 
those  who,  more  happy  than  they,  might  assist  at  the  divine  mys- 
teries within  the  sacred  building.    The  custom  of  putting  ashes  on 
the  head  in  token  of  penitence  is  even  more  ancient  than  Chris- 
tianity ;  the  Jews  practised  it,  and  the  holy  King  David  tells  us  that 
he  had  submitted  to  the  observance.    It  may  be  said  rather  to  date 
from  the  first  ages  of  the  world  ;  for  the  holy  man  Job,  long  before 
even  the  time  of  Moses,  followed  the  custom.    Nothing  is,  in  fact, 
more  calculated  to  lead  the  sinner  to  enter  into  himself  than  the 
remembrance  of  his  last  end.    Nothing  is  better  fitted,  to  beat  down 
pride  and  put  a  check  on  futile  projects  and  guilty  purposes  than 



the  terrible  and  sad  memento,  ''Remember  that  thou  art  but  dust  P 
Empires,  riches,  honors,  and  dignities,  resplendent  palaces,  tri- 
umphal cars,  fair  adornments,  beauty,  strength,  and  power,  all 

crumble  away,  and  their  very  possessor  is  but  a  ruin,  and,  ere  a 
few  days  have  sped,  will  have  dwindled  into  dust. 

Reflection. — Bear  ever  in  mind,  then,  men  and  sinners,  that 
tl  you  are  dust,  and  unto  dust  you  shall  return." 


E  that  delight  in  decking  your  head  with  costly  and  superb 
adornments,  who  love  to  cumber  your  hands  with  gold  and 
precious  jewels,  who  revel  in  luxury  and  in  soft  garments,  ap- 
proach and  see  to  what  a  condition  Jesus  Christ,  your  Captain  and 
Saviour,  is  reduced.  His  head  is  crowned  with  thorns  and  streaming 
with  blood,  and  every  base  indignity  heaped  thereon  by  ruffian 
executioners ;  His  feet  and  hands  are  pierced  by  nails,  His  side 
gaping  with  a  wide-open  wound.  Such  are  the  mournful  accents 
uttered  by  the  Church  on  the  first  Friday  of  Lent,  two  days  after 
she  has  strewed  ashes  on  the  heads  of  the  faithful.  "  For  you  it 
is,"  she  exclaims,  "  that  the  Son  of  God,  the  Word  made  Flesh, 
has  undergone  these  heart-rending  affronts,  with  intent  to  expiate 


I  1 

your  evil-doings,  and  to  teach  you  that  the  idol  of  your  body, 
which  you  deck  out  with  so  much  care  and  eager  delight,  deserves, 
on  the  contrary,  naught  but  affliction  and  suffering.  How  can  you, 
while  wreathing  yourselves  with  flowers,  venture  to  tread  in  the 
footsteps  of  a  Master  who  bears  a  thorny  crown  ?  And  with  what 
mind  do  you  propose  becoming  the  disciples  of  such  a  Master? 
That  forehead,  made  lustrous  with  borrowed  splendor,  those  limbs 
delicately  clad  and  brilliantly  adorned,  will  first  become  the  food  of 
the  grave-worm,  and  afterward  the  prey  of  that  fire  that  quench- 
eth  not,  if  you  strive  not  to  bend  them  down  to  that  lowliness  which 
is  native  to  them,  to  the  state  of  subjection  for  which  they  were 
created,  and  to  the  penitence  they  have  merited  by  reason  of  sin." 

Reflection. — May  the  contemplation  of  the  wounds  of  Our 
Saviour  engrave  deeply  in  our  mind  the  maxim  uttered  by  His  own 
divine  lips  :  "  If  any  man  will  come  after  me,  let  him  deny  himself, 
take  up  his  cross,  and  follow  me." 



HE  Church,  inspired  by  the  Holy  Ghost,  has  established  a  spe- 
cial feast  in  honor  of  the  Most  Precious  Blood  of  Our  Lord. 
This  saving  Blood  was  first  shed  at  the  circumcision  of  the  Di- 
vine Infant ;  it  was  next  poured  out  in  the  bloody  sweat  of  agony 



in  the  Garden  of  Olives ;  again  it  flowed  under  the  cruel  blows  of 
the  savage  soldiery ;  then  when  the  crown  of  thorns  was  pressed 
into  His  temples;  and  finally,  when  "one  of  the  soldiers  with  a 
spear  opened  His  side,  and  there  came  out  blood  and  water."  St. 
Augustine,  explaining  these  words  of  St.  John,  points  out  that 
the  Evangelist  does  not  use  the  words  struck  or  wounded,  but  says 
distinctly,  "  one  of  the  soldiers  with  a  spear  opened  His  side,"  that 
we  may  understand  thereby  that  the  gate  of  life  was  opened,  and 
from  that  sacred  side  issued  all  those  sacraments  of  the  Church, 
without  which  we  can  never  hope  to  gain  eternal  life.    This  Pre- 

cious Blood  was  symbolized  by  the  victim  of  the  old  law  ;  but 
while  these  latter  sacrifices  served  only  to  purify  the  outer  man, 
the  blood  of  Jesus  Christ,  by  virtue  of  its  infinite  efficacy,  washed 
us  free  from  all  sin,  provided  we  avail  ourselves  of  the  means 
established  by  our  Divine  Saviour  in  His  Church  for  the  applica- 
tion of  its  infinite  merits. 

Reflection. — Let  us  haste  then  to  profit  by  the  graces  offered 
us.  Let  us  wash  away  the  stains  of  sin  in  the  Sacrament  of  Pen- 
ance, and  nourish  ourselves  with  the  Most  Blessed  Body  and 
Blood  of  the  Holy  Eucharist.  Let  us  ever  be  attentive  at  Mass, 
where  this  adorable  Blood  mystically  pours  forth  again  upon  the 
altar  to  plead  our  cause  before  the  throne  of  divine  justice. 



ijfe^VE,  when  placed  by  the  hand  of  God  in  a  garden  of  de- 
lights,  received  but  one  precept  to  be  obeyed,  so  as  to 
be  forever  happy — a  precept  easy  of  accomplishment,  the 
non-observance  whereof  should  needs  be  inexcusable,  inasmuch 
as  neither  urgent  want  nor  strong  inclination  led  to  its  vio- 
lation;  there  was  conjoined,  moreover,  the  assurance  of  death 
following  inevitably  upon  the  transgression  of  the  precept. 
But  the  serpent,  kindling  with  jealousy  and  hate,  came  to 
tempt  her.  She  gazed  on  the  forbidden  fruit,  gathered  there- 
of, and  carried  it  to  her  husband,  and  together  they  ate,  in- 
curring the  fatal  loss,  and  involving  mankind  in  their  down- 
fall. Mary,  preceded  by  the  God  made  Man,  went  toiling  with 
Him  up  the  arid  steep  of  Calvary,  in  order  to  accomplish  the  most 
heart-rending  of  all  sacrifices.  Eve  had  rebelled,  Mary  surrendered 
her  will ;  Eve  had  yielded  to  the  enticing  voice  of  the  Tempter  ; 
Mary  heard  the  voice  of  the  same  demon  of  jealousy  and  hate, 
uttering  by  the  mouth  of  the  impious  Jews  blasphemies  and  male- 
dictions, but  she  was  not  frightened  from  her  purpose.  Eve,  in 
her  disobedience,  stretched  forth  her  hand  toward  the  tree  of  the 
knowledge  of  good  and  evil ;  Mary,  in  her  submission  to  the  de- 
signs of  God,  stretches  forth  hers  to  the  tree  of  the  Cross.  Eve 



had  sacrificed  to  her  caprice  the  spouse  through  whom  she  had 
received  being ;  Mary  assists  at  the  sacrifice  of  the  Son  to  whom 
she  has  given  being.  Eve  was  born  of  man  without  the  agency 
of  a  mother;  Mary  gave  birth  to  the  man-God  without  the  inter- 
vention of  a  spouse.  Eve,  after  her  disobedience,  became  the 
mother,  in  the  order  of  nature,  of  a  race  accursed  ;  Mary,  through 
her  submission,  lias  become,  in  the  order  of  grace,  the  mother  of 
a  race  sanctified. 

These  points  of  resemblance  and  contrast  offer  themselves 
spontaneously  to  the  mind,  provided  we  ponder  somewhat  over 
the  remembrance  celebrated  by  the  Church  on  the  Friday  in  Holy 
Week,  under  the  title  of  the  "  Seven  Dolors  of  the  Blessed  Vir- 
gin." A  mother's  heart  can  alone  comprehend  the  agony  of 
torture  endured  by  this  mother  at  the  foot  of  the  Cross  where- 
on Her  Son  was  immolated ;  we  do  not  attempt  to  describe,  nor 
are  any  mere  human  lips,  indeed,  able  to  express  it. 

Reflection. — Let  us  adore  this  divine  and  mysterious  abyss 
of  charity,  in  whose  depth  our  salvation  was  worked  out  at  the 
price  of  so  much  suffering ;  and  let  us  bear  in  mind  what  we 
have  cost  that  mother  to  whose  guardianship  we  were  made  over, 
even  from  the  sublime  height  of  the  cross. 


HE  Most  Holy  Crown  of  Thorns,  consecrated  by  the  head 
and  the  blood  of  our  Divine  Saviour,  has  always  been 
looked  upon  as  one  of  the  most  precious  of  relics.  Having 
been  carried  to  Constantinople,  it  was  there  carefully  kept,  during 
the  reign  of  the  French  Emperors,  up  to  the  beginning  of  the 
thirteenth  century.  At  that  time  the  Emperor,  Baldwin  II.,  was 
sorely  pressed  by  the  Saracens  and  Greeks,  and  considering  Con- 
stantinople as  no  longer  secure,  he  sent  the  precious  relic  to  his 
cousin,  St.  Louis,  who  accepted  it  with  delight.  St.  Louis,  in 
requital,  afterward  voluntarily  paid  off  a  large  sum  which  the 
emperor  had  borrowed  from  the  Venetians.  In  1239,  the  sacred 
treasure  was  carried  in  a  sealed  case,  with  great  devotion,  by  holy 
men,  to  France.  St.  Louis,  accompanied  by  many  prelates  and 
his  entire  court,  met  it  five  leagues  beyond  Sens.  The  pious  king, 
with  his  brother,  Robert  of  Artois,  both  barefooted,  carried  it  into 
that  city  to  the  cathedral  of  St.  Stephen,  accompanied  by  a  nume- 
rous procession.    Two  years  after,  it  was  taken  to  Paris,  where  it 



was  received  with  great  solemnity,  and  placed  in  the  Holy  Chapel 
which  St.  Louis  built  for  its  reception.  Every  year,  on  the  nth 
of  August,  the  transfer  of  this  relic  from  Venice  to  Paris,  is  cele- 
brated in  the  Holy  Chapel. 


JT^)ESSONS  without  end,  at  once  lofty  and  hallowing,  might 
^JLSi  be  deduced  from  the  triumphant  entry  of  Jesus  Christ 
into  Jerusalem,  celebrated  by  the  Church  on  this  day ; 
we  limit  ourselves,  however,  to  considering  the  event  under 
one  aspect  merely,  in  order  to  draw  therefrom  a  moral  les- 
son for  our  spiritual  instruction.  Jesus  Christ  enters  Jeru- 
salem, and  the  people  forthwith  improvise  a  triumph  all  the 
more  noble  because  it  has  cost  neither  blood  nor  tears,  and 
so  much  the  more  touching  because  it  is  spontaneous.  The 
whole  town  is  in  commotion,  the  roadway  is  strewn  with 
branches  and  covered  with  the  garments  of  the  bystanders,  every 
mouth  resounding  with  acclamations,  and  blessings,  and  praise. 
Jesus  Christ  is  proclaimed  the  son  of  David,  the  King  of  the  na- 
tion and  the  Messiah.  Ere  a  few  days  are  sped,  the  very  people 
that  had  applauded  now  clamor  for  His  death,  curse  and  insult 
Him,  and  assist  at  His  degrading  death  with  fiendish  cries  of 



Even  thus  pass  away  the  glories  of  the  world,  its  joys,  its  pos- 
sessions, even  life  itself.  To-day  at  the  height  of  greatness,  to- 
morrow in  the  deepest  abasement;  but  yesterday  the  idol  of  a  na- 
tion, to-day  the  object  of  its  hate ;  now  surrounded  with  prosperi- 
ty, and  yet  a  little  while,  borne  down  by  misfortune  ;  one  day 
full  of  life  and  vigor,  and  the  next  consigned  to  the  tomb. 

Foolish,  then,  are  they  who  would  account  as  of  any  value,  or 
would  cling  to,  things  perishable  !    What  bitter  awakenings  have 

not  such  poor  deluded  beings  to  expect,  and  what  chagrin  and 
tearful  disappointments  do  they  not  create  for  themselves  !  The 
Christian  who  places  the  aim  of  his  hopes  and  the  centre  of  his 
affections  at  a  higher  range  is  both  wiser  and  more  happy.  Pros- 
perity does  not  blind  nor  inebriate  him,  since  he  knows  it  to  be 
capricious  and  changeful ;  adverse  fortune  does  not  overwhelm 
him,  because  he  was  prepared  for  it  and  awaited  it  with  calmness. 
The  unforeseen  alone  affords  any  ground  for  fear ;  and  to  the 
faithful  Christian  there  is  nothing  that  is  unforeseen. 

Reflection. — The  recommendation  given  by  the  great  Apostle 
may  be  aptly  brought  to  mind  :  "  And  they  that  weep  be  as  though 
they  wept  not ;  and  they  that  rejoice,  as  they  rejoiced  not ;  and 
they  that  use  this  world,  as  though  they  used  it  not ;  for  the  fash- 
ion of  this  world  passeth  away." 




N  Thursday,  the  eve  of  the  Passion,  Jesus  Christ  took 
bread,  and  having  blessed  it,  broke  and  distributed  it 
to  His  apostles,  saying  to  them,  "  Take  and  eat :  this 
is  my  body,  which  shall  be  delivered  for  you."  Then  taking 
the  chalice,  He  blessed  and  gave  it  to  them,  saying,  "  Drink 
ye  all  of  this,  for  this  is  the  chalice  of  my  blood  which  shall 
be  shed  for  you."  He  thereafter  added,  "  This  do  in  remem- 
brance of  me."  These  words,  in  all  their  precision,  simpli- 
city, and  clearness,  contain  the  institution  of  the  adorable 
Sacrament  of  the  Eucharist,  an  irrefragable  proof  of  the  Real 
Presence  of  Jesus  Christ  in  this  Sacrament,  and  the  demon- 
stration of  His  perpetuity  in  the  Church.  But  rather  than  indulge 
in  reasoning,  let  us  set  forth  briefly  the  principal  effect.  Jesus 
Christ,  before  instituting  it,  had  said  that  this  sacrament  would 
communicate  life  eternal  to  those  receiving  it ;  and  this,  in  one 
aspect  at  least,  and  so  far  as  it  is  given  to  man  to  understand  the 
mysteries  of  God,  is  comprehensible.  Sin  had  implanted  in  man 
the  germ  of  death  and  vice.  By  reason  of  his  disobedience  man 
had  become  incapable  of  good,  or  even  of  a  holy  thought,  as  the 
great  Apostle  tells  us.  Now,  in  God  is  the  source  of  being,  life, 
good,  virtue,  and  all  excellence.    God,  by  communicating  Himself 



substantially  to  man  by  means  of  this  august  sacrament,  implants 
the  germ  of  immortality  and  virtue.  Man,  if  limited  to  his  own 
powers,  could  not  even  think  out  a  useful  way  of  becoming  virtu- 
ous, for  whence  should  he  take  the  principle  of  virtue  and  the 
means  of  putting  it  in  practice  ?  He  would  consequently  have  to 
incur  eternal  loss,  since  salvation  without  virtue  is  a  thing  utterly 
impossible.  But  once  pervaded  with  the  principle  of  grace  by  an 
intimate  union  with  God,  he  has  but  to  let  it  develop  and  to  cul- 
tivate the  good  seed  sown  in  him.  Thus  does  the  diamond,  of  itself 
colorless  and  dim,  absorb  the  light  when  exposed  thereto,  becom- 
ing a  sparkling  centre  of  light,  and  shining  with  a  radiant  lustre. 
The  more  vivid  the  light,  the  more  brightly  will  the  diamond  shine, 
if  it  be  pure.  In  like  manner,  the  more  man  launches  himself  into 
the  Divine  substance,  the  more  will  he  therewith  be  inundated  by 
holy  communion ;  the  more  potent  also  will  his  life  become  in 
virtues  strong  and  manifold,  and,  consequently,  in  sure  claims  to 

Reflection. — With  what  respect,  love,  and  ardor  ought  we 
not  to  receive  this  divine  food,  "  which  maketh  to  live  forever  "  ! 


AjT:ESUS  CHRIST  was  nailed  to  the  cross  about  mid-day,  ex- 
pired  thereon  in  the  afternoon,  and  was  taken  down  in  the 
evening  toward  sunset,  or  the  sixth  hour.  According  to 
the  language  of  St.  Paul,  thus  did  He,  by  His  blood,  pacify  heaven 
and  earth.  If  this  form  of  expression  convey  not  simply  the 
reconciliation  of  heaven  with  the  earth,  it  veils  a  mystery  im- 
penetrable to  feeble  reason.  But  this  very  reconciliation  is  in 
itself  the  greatest  mystery ;  for  man  always  vainly  tries  to  explain 
it  by  recurring  to  comparisons  and  considerations  of  human 
conception  merely,  which  are  vastly  insufficient,  from  the  fact  of 
their  being  human.  And  what  matters  it,  after  all,  whether  we 
understand  or  not  so  great  a  mystery  ?  Enough  for  us  that  it 
has  produced  its  effect,  and  that  we  are  able  to  adore  it  in  gratitude 
and  love.  That  philosophy  should  rail  at  what  it  does  not  fathom 
is  sheer  foolishness.  Incredulity  may  scoff  at  what  it  does  not 
recognize ;  it  concerns  it,  however,  to  know  whether  reason  be  on 
its  side.  Let  heresy  explain,  after  human  fashion,  things  divine ; 
as  for  us  Christians,  let  us  fix  our  gaze  on  the  Mediator  between 



God  and  man,  raised  aloft  between  heaven  and  earth,  with  arms 
outstretching  in  order  to  enfold  the  universe ;  with  head  down 
bent,  to  give  to  the  world  the  kiss  of  peace  and  reconciliation, 
after  having,  at  the  cost  of  His  blood,  purchased  peace,  and  let  us 
humble  our  whole  being  in  heartfelt  thanksgiving  and  love.  Let 
us  reverently  imprint  our  lips  on  this  cross,  the  instrument  of  our 
salvation  ;  let  us  bend  down  trembling  before  the  just  God,  who 
takes  such  noble  revenge  for  our  guilt.  By  our  works  let  us  make 
some  return  for  the  price  we  have  cost ;  by  our  penitence  and  tears 
let  us  apply  to  ourselves  the  merit  of  His  redemption,  and  hence- 
forth live  only  for  heaven,  since  we  have  been  made  heirs  to 

Reflection.— The  cross,  "to  the  Jews  indeed  a  stumbling- 
block,  and  to  the  Gentiles  foolishness,"  is,  withal,  the  instrument 
of  Christ's  power  and  of  the  wisdom  of  God. 


HREE  hours  after  Jesus  Christ  had  uttered  His  last  sigh 
on  the  cross,  two  of  His  disciples,  Nicodemus  and  Joseph 
of  Arimathea,  went  to  ask  Pilate  for  the  body,  that  they 
might  give  it  burial.  Having  obtained  it,  they  embalmed  it 
according  to  the  custom  of  the  Jews,  and   deposited   it  not 



far  from  the  place  of  Calvary,  in  a  tomb  hewn  in  the  rock, 
wherein  no  one  had  yet  been  laid.  Pilate  caused  the  en- 
trance to  be  sealed  up,  and  placed  a  guard  over  it,  lest  the 
body  should  be  taken  away.  The  Saviour  thus  remained 
from  nightfall  on  the  Friday  till  the  first  rays  of  dawn  on  the 
Sunday.  He  had  himself  said  that  He  was  to  pass  this  time  in 
the  tomb,  and  had  quoted  as  an  example  the  abiding  of  the  pro- 
phet Jonas  for  the  same  space  of  time  in  the  whale's  belly.  It  was 
then  a  real  death  that  was  associated  with  these  signs  and  precau- 

tions, and  the  sacrifice  had  been  consummated  and  was  irrevocable. 
Wei  L  might  we  then  marvel  at  such  excess  of  love,  covering  our- 
selves with  confusion  at  the  thought  of  how  feebly  we  love  Him 
who  hath  so  greatly  loved  us,  and  of  how  little  we  do  for  Him 
who  hath  accomplished  so  much  for  us.  But  we  would  enter 
upon  another  consideration.  With  Jesus  Christ  died  both  the 
ancient  world  with  its  hideous  worship ;  the  synagogue  with 
its  symbols  and  mysteries ;  and  the  man  of  sin,  the  old  Adam, 
with  its  concupiscences — yea,  even  death  itself,  which  had  been 
inflicted  on  man  in  punishment  for  sin.  With  Jesus  Christ  died 
sin,  and  sin  was  placed  in  the  tomb  with  Him ;  for,  accord- 
ing to  the  beautiful  expression  of  the  Apostle,  the  Saviour  fas- 
tened the  sins  of  men  to  the  cross. 



Now  the  cross  itself  was  buried  on  the  spot  where  Christ  had 
suffered,  as  was  the  custom  among  the  Jews,  and  as  was  fully 
shown  by  the  finding  thereof  in  conjunction  with  those  of  the  two 
thieves,  three  centuries  later,  by  St.  Helen  ;  whence  it  follows 
that  among  us  Christians,  the  disciples,  that  is,  of  Christ,  and  re- 
generated by  His  death,  there  ought  never  to  lurk  any  shadow  of 
Jewish  superstition  or  pagan  morals,  any  remnant  of  the  old 
Adam  or  man  of  sin.  Concupiscences,  disorderly  passions,  and 
love  of  the  world  should  no  longer  exist  but  as  the  memory  of  a 
time  that  is  no  more. 

Reflection. — "  For  we  are  buried  together  with  Him  by  bap- 
tism unto  death ;  that  as  Christ  is  risen  from  the  dead  by  the  glory 
of  His  Father,  so  we  also  may  walk  in  newness  of  life.  For  if 
we  have  been  planted  together  in  the  likeness  of  His  death,  we 
shall  be  also  of  His  resurrection.  Knowing  this,  that  the  old  man 
is  crucified  with  Him,  that  the  body  of  sin  may  be  destroyed,  and 
that  we  may  serve  sin  no  longer." 

HE  resurrection  of  the  dead  is  one  of  the  most  consoling 

truths  of  Christianity.    To  die  forever  would  be  the  most 

terrible  of  all  destinies.  The  plant  and  the  animal,  un- 
endowed with  reason,  die,  never  to  live  again ;  but  they  have 
not  at  least  any  apprehension  as  to  what  death  is.  To  die 
is  to  them  one  of  the  thousand  accidents  bound  up  with  life; 
to  the  plant  it  is  as  nothing,  and  for  the  animal  without  rea- 
son, a  merely  transitory  pang,  death  itself  being  but  the  affair 
of  a  moment.  For  man,  on  the  contrary,  death  has  terrors 
which  precede  it,  anguish  accompanying  it,  and  apprehensions 
consequent  upon  it.  The  most  strongly-attempered  spirit  shud- 
ders on  reflecting  that  it  must  incur  death;  the  most  selfish 
man  has  attachments  which  he  with  difficulty  severs;  the  most 
determined  unbeliever  experiences  doubts  as  to  the  shadowy 
To-morrow  of  death.  Man  would  then  be  the  most  pitiable  among 
all  beings  were  Religion  not  at  hand  to  say  to  him,  "  The  grave  is 
a  place  of  momentary  rest ;  you  will  come  forth  thence  one  day. 
The  God  that  gave  being  to  your  limbs  will  restore  it ;  the  resur- 
rection of  Jesus  Christ  gives  thereof  an  assured  pledge." 

This  confidence  in  the  future  resurrection  is  a  subject  of  the 
greatest  joy  to  the  children  of  God,  the  groundwork  of  their 




faith,  the  mainspring  of  their  hope,  and  most  lasting  comfort 
amid  the  evils  of  this  life.  For  if  Christ  had  not  risen,  says  the 
Apostle  St.  Paul,  in  vain  should  we  believe  in  Him.  He  would 
be  convicted  of  having  been  an  impostor  and  His  apostles  of  being 
mad ;  His  death  would  not  have  availed  us  any  thing,  and  we 
should  still  be  dwelling  in  the  bonds  of  sin.  Those  dying  in  Jesus 
Christ  would  perish,  and  our  hope  in  Him  not  extending  beyond 
the  present  life,  we  should  be  the  most  unfortunate  of  men,  inas- 
much as,  after  having  had  as  our  portion  in  this  life,  sufferings 
and  afflictions,  we  should  not  be  able  to  console  ourselves  with 

the  expectation  of  future  good.  But  Jesus  Christ  having  come 
forth  living  from  the  tomb,  His  doctrine  is  confirmed  by  His  resur- 
rection ;  it  establishes  the  certitude  of  His  mission  in  His  character 
as  Son  of  God,  the  efficacy  of  the  sacrifice  He  offered  on  the  cross, 
the  divinity  of  His  priesthood,  the  rewards  of  the  other  life,  and 
the  glorified  resurrection  of  the  flesh. 

Reflection. — We  shall  one  day  rise  again  ;  but  let  us  range 
by  the  side  of  such  a  consoling  expectation  that  terrible  warning 
of  the  prophet  Daniel,  "  Many  of  those  that  sleep  in  the  dust  of 
the  earth  shall  awake,  some  unto  life  everlasting,  and  others  unto 
reproach  eternal." 




HE  mystery  which  the  Church  honors  on  this  day  is  at  the 
same  time  that  of  the  triumph  of  Jesus  Christ  and  the 
hallowed  hope  of  His  disciples.  The  Saviour,  after  hav- 
ing accomplished  His  mission  on  earth,  ascends  to  heaven  to 
put  His  manhood  in  possession  of  the  glory  due  to  it,  and 
to  prepare  for  us  an  abiding-place.  He  ascends  thither  as 
our  King,  Liberator,  Chief,  and  Mediator.  Our  King,  because 
He  has  purchased  us  at  the  cost  of  His  blood  ;  our  Liberator, 
because  He  has  conquered  death  and  sin,  and  has  ransomed  us 

from  the  thraldom  of  Satan  ;  our  Chief,  because  He  wishes  that 
we  should  follow  in  His  footsteps,  and  that  we  should  be  where 
He  is,  even  as  He  has  Himself  declared ;  our  Mediator,  because 
we  can  have  access  to  the  Father  only  through  Him.  He  as- 
cends thither  as  our  High  Priest,  in  order  to  offer  unceasingly 
to  God  the  blood  which  He  has  shed  for  us  in  His  character  of 
man,  and  to  obtain  for  us  through  the  merits  of  His  sacrifice  the 
remission  of  our  sins. 

Let  us,  then,  by  means  of  faith,  follow  Him  in  His  ascension 
to  heaven,  and  abide  there  henceforth  in  heart  and  spirit.  Let  us 
remember  that  heaven  is  wholly  ours,  as  our  inheritance;  and 
amid  the  temptations  and  miseries  of  this  life,  let  us  think  often 
of  this  home  of  peace,  of  glory,  and  bliss  eternal. 



We  must  not  natter  ourselves,  however,  that,  without  earnest 
efforts  on  our  part,  we  shall  have  any  share  in  the  kingdom  of 
Jesus  Christ.  There  are  many  mansions  in  the  house  of  our 
heavenly  Father,  but  there  are  not  many  roads  leading  thither. 
Jesus  Christ  has  traced  out  for  us  the  way  of  humiliation  and 
suffering,  and  it  is  the  only  one  that  conducts  to  eternal  peace. 
If  the  hardships  of  the  journey  and  the  sight  of  our  own  weak- 
ness strike  us  with  dread,  we  should  gather  energy  by  leaning  on 
the  promises  of  the  God-Man.  He  will  be  with  us  even  unto  the 
end,  and  if  we  love  Him,  all  will  become  easy. 

Reflection. — Let  us  cherish  hope  :  "  Christ  being  come,  a 
High  Priest  of  the  good  things  to  come,  hath  entered  into  the 
holy  of  holies,  by  His  own  blood  having  obtained  eternal  re- 

gjMFTY  days  after  Easter,  the  apostles  and  disciples  of  Jesus 

Christ  were  assembled  in  an  upper  chamber,  engaged  in 

prayer,  according  to  the  recommendation  of  the  Divine  Mas- 
ter, and  awaiting  the  accomplishment  of  the  promise  He  had  made 
to  them,  of  sending  them  a  Comforting  Spirit,  the  Paraclete,  who 
should  teach  them  all  things.  Lo  !  a  great  noise,  as  of  a  rushing 
tempest,  was  suddenly  heard,  the  house  was  rocked  to  and  fro,  and 
tongues  of  fire  were  seen  resting  on  the  head  of  each  one.  At 
once  all  were  changed  into  new  men,  their  minds  being  endowed 
with  full  understanding  of  the  Scriptures  and  of  the  wonders  they 
had  hitherto  witnessed  without  comprehending,  and  their  souls 
were  filled  with  strength  from  on  high  ;  thenceforth  they  belonged 
no  more  to  themselves  but  to  the  work  of  the  Gospel.  From 
that  time  forth  this  Divine  Spirit  has  not  ceased  to  pour  itself 
forth  upon  the  Church  to  enlighten,  confirm,  protect,  and  guide; 
it  has  not  ceased  communicating  itself  to  each  of  the  faithful 
individually,  either  by  means  of  the  sacraments  or  by  grace, 
whenever  it  has  found  hearts  well  disposed. 

The  Fathers  of  the  Church  and  all  theologians  are  of  one 
mind  in  recognizing,  in  the  workings  of  the  Holy  Ghost  in  the 
hearts  of  the  faithful,  seven  chief  gifts  :  Wisdom,  Understanding, 
Counsel,  Fortitude,  Knowledge,  Piety,  and  the  Fear  of  the  Lord.  The 
gift  of  Wisdom  helps  us  to  judge  healthily  of  all  things  concern- 
ing our  last  end  ;  the  gift  of  Understanding,  to  apprehend  the 
truths  revealed,  and  to  submit  our  hearts  thereto  ;  the  gift  of 




Counsel,  to  choose  in  all  things  the  part  best  fitted  for  the  sancti- 
fication  of  our  souls ;  the  gift  of  Fortitude,  to  resist  temptations 
and  overcome  dangers ;  the  gift  of  Knowledge,  to  discern  the  best 
means  of  sanctifying  ourselves ;  the  gift  of  Piety,  or  Godliness, 
causes  us  to  love  religion  and  the  practices  having  reference  to 
Divine  Worship  ;  the  gift  of  the  Fear  of  the  Lord  turns  us  aside 
from  sin  and  from  whatever  may  displease  God. 

Reflection. — "  They  that  are  according  to  the  flesh  mind  the 
things  that  are  of  the  flesh  ;  but  they  that  are  according  to  the 
Spirit  mind  the  things  that  are  of  the  Spirit.  For  the  wisdom  of 
the  flesh  is  death ;  but  the  wisdom  of  the  Spirit  is  life  and  peace." 


HE  Holy  Trinity  is  one  only  God  in  three  Persons,  the 
Father,  the  Son,  and  the  Holy  Ghost,  equal  in  all  things 
and  co-eternal.  The  Father  gives  being  to  the  Son,  and 
the  Holy  Ghost  proceeds  from  the  Father  and  the  Son:  the 
most  adorable,  truly,  of  all  mysteries,  and  likewise  the  most 
impenetrable  !  St.  Anselm  has  endeavored  to  explain  it  from 
a  single  point  of  view  only,  and  has  accomplished  this  in  a 
masterly  yet  necessarily  insufficient  manner.  The  Father,  he 
says,    cannot   exist   a   single   instant   without   knowing  Him- 



self,  because,  in  God,  to  know  is  to  exist,  even  as  to  will  is 
to  act.  This  knowledge,  personified,  is  "the  Word,"  His  Son. 
The  Son  is,  then,  co-eternal  with  the  Father.  The  Father  and 
the  Son  cannot  exist  a  single  instant  without  loving  each  other ; 
their  mutual  love  is  again  personified,  because  in  God  to  love  is 
still  to  exist,  God  being  love  itself.  This  third  Person,  thus  co- 
eternal  with  the  other  two  Persons,  is  the  Holy  Ghost.  But  the 
inhabitants  with  God  can  alone  understand  these  wonders,  and 
they  understand  because  they  see  them. 

The  free-thinker,  surrounded  by  the  mysteries  of  nature,  and 

who  is  to  himself  a  complete  mystery,  is  not  willing  to  admit  of 
any  in  religion.  "  I  only  wish  to  believe,"  he  says,  "  what  I  under- 
stand !"  The  poor  fool  would  not  believe  much  were  he  taken 
at  his  word.  He  would  neither  believe  in  the  food  he  takes,  see- 
ing that  he  could  not  explain  how  it  imparts  nourishment,  nor  in 
the  light  of  the  sun,  since  he  does  not  apprehend  how  it  brings 
him  into  relation  with  distant  objects,  nor  even  in  his  own  argu- 
ments, since  he  does  not  comprehend  how  his  mind  evokes  and 
gives  them  shape. 

Literally  speaking,  there  exist  no  mysteries,  there  are  only 
truths ;  but  truth  becomes  a  mystery  to  him  who  does  not  un- 
derstand it.    Writing  is  a  mystery  to  one  who  knows  not  how 



to  read;  it  ceases  to  be  so  to  any  one  who  has  received  instruc- 
tion. According  as  we  educate  the  soul  and  widen  the  measure 
of  knowledge,  mysteries  begin  to  disappear  in  proportion ;  there- 
fore is  it  that  there  are  no  mysteries  in  heaven,  because  the  angels 
and  the  blessed  behold  with  open  gaze  the  objects  whereof  we 
now  possess  but  the  mysterious  definition.  To  deserve  to  be- 
hold them  one  day  in  their  heavenly  company,  one  condition  is 
requisite,  namely,  to  adore  them  meanwhile  with  steadfast  and 
perfect  faith  in  the  Word  of  God,  which  proposes  them  for  our 
belief.  In  the  realms  of  nature,  a  mystery  is  a  truth  not  under- 
stood, which  one  believes  withal  because  one  sees  it.  In  the  sphere 
of  religion,  a  mystery  is  a  truth  not  understood,  which  one  believes 
because  God  has  revealed  it. 

Reflection. — Wherefore  rebel  against  the  word  of  God?  Is 
it  not  "  as  if  the  clay  should  rebel  against  the  potter,  and  the  work 
should  say  to  the  worker  thereof,  Thou  understandest  not?" 


ILL  the  thirteenth  century  the  Church  had  not  thought 
of  establishing  a  special  festival  in  honor  of  the  Blessed 
Sacrament,  being  satisfied  with  celebrating  on  Holy  Thurs- 
day the  institution  of  this  divine  mystery.  At  that  period, 
however,  as  heresiarchs  dared  to  attack  the  Real  Presence 
of  Jesus  Christ  in  the  Eucharist,  and  numerous  miracles  and 
special  revelations  had  occurred  to  concentrate  the  attention 
of  the  Christian  world  on  this  dogma,  Pope  Urban  IV.  de- 
creed, in  1244,  that  a  special  feast  should  be  instituted,  which, 
by  its  solemnity  and  pomp,  should  be  as  a  protestation  in 
favor  of  the  unwavering  faith  of  the  Church,  and  should,  at 
the  same  time,  offer  an  honorable  reparation  for  the  blas- 
phemies of  impious  men.  But  this  pontiff  happening  to  die 
soon  after,  the  Bull  had  not  all  the  effect  intended,  and  it  was 
only  after  the  Council  of  Vienne,  held  in  1332,  that  the  feast  of 
the  Blessed  Sacrament,  or  Corpus  Christi,  was  definitively  estab- 
lished throughout  the  Catholic  world.  The  Holy  Council  of 
Trent  newly  approved  in  a  formal  and  earnest  manner  both  the 
worship  itself  and  its  attendant  pomp.  The  Feast  of  Corpus 
Christi  is  then  a  solemn  act  of  faith  in  the  Real  Presence  of 
Jesus  Christ  in  the  Blessed  Eucharist;  and  this  belief,  to  which 
the  Church  attaches  an  importance  of  the  highest  moment,  is  the 



very  groundwork  of  Catholicity,  or  rather  is  the  very  essence  of 
all  Christianity;  for  if  Jesus  Christ  be  not  present  really  and 
corporeally  under  the  elements  of  bread  and  wine,  as  He  has  Him- 
self formally  told  us,  His  word  is  no  longer  reliable,  He  is  no 
longer  God,  and  there  remains  of  religion  naught  save  a  beautiful 
but  sterile  philosophy,  which  each  one  can  remodel  after  his  own 
mind.  If  it  be  allowable,  as  Protestants  contend,  to  interpret,  in  a 
purely  allegorical  sense,  words  of  such  clearness  that  there  are 
not,  throughout  the  whole  of  the  Gospel,  any  more  positive  or 
precise,  it  is  permissible  to  interpret  every  thing  at  will,  and  the 

Gospel  remains  an  enigma,  the  solution  whereof  is  nowhere  to 
be  found.  It  is  furthermore  the  intention  of  the  Church  to  make 
an  avowal  of  her  love  and  gratitude  to  Jesus  Christ,  and  to  offer 
reparation  for  all  the  profanations  and  sacrileges  to  which  this 
adorable  sacrament  has  been  exposed. 

Reflection. — O  weak-hearted  and  lukewarm  Christians!  O 
ye  infidels,  unbelievers,  and  heretics  of  all  ages  !  "  if  you  did  but 
know  the  gift  of  God,  you  would  perhaps  have  asked  of  Him,  and 
He  would  have  given  you  living  water  !" 

Lives  of  the  Saints. 


IRCUMCISION  was  a  sacrament  of  the  old  law,  and  the 
first  legal  observance  required  by  Almighty  God  of  the  de- 
scendants of  Abraham.  It  was  a  sacrament  of  initiation  in 
the  service  of  God,  and  a  promise  and  engagement  to  believe  and 
act  as  He  had  revealed  and  directed.    The  law  of  circumcision 

continued  in  force  until  the  death  of  Christ,  and  our  Saviour  being 
born  under  the  law,  it  became  Him,  who  came  to  teach  mankind 
obedience  to  the  law  of  God,  to  fulfil  all  justice,  and  to  submit  to 
it.    Therefore  He  was  circumcised  that  He  might  redeem  them  that 




were  under  the  law,  by  freeing  them  from  the  servitude  of  it ;  and 
that  those  who  were  in  the  condition  of  servants  before  might  be 
set  at  liberty,  and  receive  the  adoption  of  sons  in  baptism,  which,  by 
Christ's  institution,  succeeded  to  circumcision.  On  the  day  that 
the  divine  infant  was  circumcised,  he  received  the  name  of  Jesus, 
which  signifies  Saviour,  which  had  been  given  him  by  the  angel 
before  he  was  conceived.  That  name,  so  beautiful,  so  glorious, 
the  divine  child  does  not  wish  to  bear  for  one  moment  without 
fulfilling  its  meaning ;  even  at  the  moment  of  his  circumcision  he 
showed  himself  a  Saviour  by  shedding  for  us  that  blood,  a  single 
drop  of  which  is  more  than  sufficient  for  the  ransom  and  salvation 
of  the  whole  world. 

Reflection. — Let  us  profit  by  the  circumstance  of  the  new 
year,  and  of  the  wonderful  renewal  wrought  in  the  world  by  the 
great  mystery  of  this  day,  to  renew  in  our  hearts  an  increase  of 
fervor  and  of  generosity  in  the  service  of  God.  May  this  year  be 
one  of  fervor  and  of  progress !  It  will  go  by  rapidly,  like  that 
which  has  just  ended.  If  God  permits  us  to  see  its  end,  how  glad 
and  happy  we  shall  be  to  have  passed  it  holily. 


N  spite  of  family  troubles  and  delicate  health,  Fulgentius  was 
appointed  at  an  early  age  procurator  of  his  province  at  Car- 
thage. This  success,  however,  did  not  satisfy  his  heart.  Levy- 
ing the  taxes  proved  daily  more  distasteful,  and  when  he  was 
twenty-two,  St.  Austin's  treatise  on  the  Psalms  decided  him  to  enter 
religion.  After  six  years  of  peace,  his  monastery  was  attacked  by 
Arian  heretics,  and  Fulgentius  himself  driven  out  destitute  to  the 
desert.  He  now  sought  the  solitude  of  Egypt,  but  finding  that 
country  also  in  schism,  he  turned  his  steps  to  Rome.  There  the 
splendors  of  the  Imperial  Court  only  told  him  of  the  greater 
glory  of  the  Heavenly  Jerusalem,  and  at  the  first  lull  in  the  perse- 
cution he  re-sought  his  African  cell.  Elected  bishop  in  508,  he  was 
summoned  forth  to  face  new  dangers,  and  was  shortly  after  ban- 
ished by  the  Arian  king,  Thrasimund,  with  fifty-nine  orthodox  pre- 
lates, to  Sardinia.  Though  the  youngest  of  the  exiles,  he  was  at 
once  the  mouthpiece  of  his  brethren  and  the  stay  of  their  flocks. 
By  his  books  and  letters,  which  are  still  extant,  he  confounded 
both  Pelagian  and  Arian  heresiarchs,  and  confirmed  the  Catholics 
in  Africa  and  Gaul.  An  Arian  priest  betrayed  Fulgentius  to  the 
Numidians,  and  ordered  him  to  be  scourged.     This  was  done. 




His  hair  and  beard  were  plucked  out,  and  he  was  left  naked,  his 
body  one  bleeding  sore.  Even  the  Arian  bishop  was  ashamed  of 
this  brutality,  and  offered  to  punish  the  priest  if  the  Saint  would 
prosecute  him.  But  Fulgentius  replied,  "A  Christian  must  not 
seek  revenge  in  this  world.  God  knows  how  to  right  His  ser- 
vants' wrongs.  If  I  were  to  bring  the  punishment  of  man  on 
that  priest,  I  should  lose  my  own  reward  with  God.  And  it  would 
be  a  scandal  to  many  little  ones  that  a  Catholic  and  a  monk,  how- 
ever unworthy  he  be,  should  seek  redress  from  an  Arian  bishop." 
On  Thrasimund's  death  the  bishops  returned  to  their  flocks,  and 
Fulgentius,  having  re-established  discipline  in  his  see,  retired  to 
an  island  monastery,  where  after  a  year's  preparation  he  died  in 
peace  in  the  year  533. 

Reflection. — Each  year  may  bring  us  fresh  changes  and  trials  ; 
let  us  learn  from  St.  Fulgentius  to  receive  all  that 'happens  as  from 
the  hand  of  God,  and  appointed  for  our  salvation. 


ACARIUS  when  a  youth  left  his  fruit  stall  at  Alexandria 
to  join  the  great  St.  Antony.  The  Patriarch,  warned  by  a 
miracle  of  his  disciple's  sanctity,  named  him  the  heir  of  his 
virtues.  His  life  was  one  long  conflict  with  self.  "  I  am  tormenting 
my  tormentor,"  replied  he  to  one  who  met  him  bent  double  with  a 
basket  of  sand  in  the  heat  of  the  day.  "  Whenever  I  am  slothful 
and  idle,  I  am  pestered  by  desires  for  distant  travel."  When  he 
was  quite  worn  out  he  returned  to  his  cell.  Since  sleep  at  times 
overpowered  him,  he  kept  watch  for  twenty  days  and  nights ;  be- 
ing about  to  faint,  he  entered  his  cell  and  slept,  but  henceforth 
slept  only  at  will.  A  gnat  stung  him,  he  killed  it.  In  revenge  for 
this  softness  he  remained  naked  in  a  marsh  till  his  body  was  cov- 
ered with  noxious  bites,  and  he  was  recognized  only  by  his  voice. 
Once  when  thirsty  he  received  a  present  of  grapes,  but  passed 
them  untouched  to  a  hermit  who  was  toiling  in  the  heat.  This 
one  gave  them  to  a  third,  who  handed  them  to  a  fourth  ;  thus  the 
grapes  went  the  round  of  the  desert,  and  returned  to  Macarius, 
who  thanked  God  for  his  brethren's  abstinence.  Macarius  saw 
demons  assailing  the  hermits  at  prayer.  They  put  their  fingers 
into  the  mouths  of  some,  and  made  them  yawn.  They  closed  the 
eyes  of  others,  and  walked  upon  them  when  asleep.  They  placed 
vain  and  sensual  images  before  many  of  the  brethren,  and  then 
mocked  those  who  were  captivated  by  them.  None  vanquished  the 




devils  effectually  save  those  who  by  constant  vigilance  repelled 
them  at  once.  Macarius visited  one  hermit  daily  for  four  months, 
but  never  could  speak  to  him,  as  he  was  always  in  prayer;  so  he 
called  him  an  "  angel  on  earth."  After  being  many  years  Supe- 
rior, Macarius  fled  in  disguise  to  St.  Pachomius,  to  begin  again  as 
his  novice;  but  St.  Pachomius,  instructed  by  a  vision,  bade  him  re- 
turn to  his  brethren,  who  loved  him  as  their  father.  In  his  old  age, 
thinking  nature  tamed,  he  determined  to  spend  five  days  alone  in 
prayer.  On  the  third  day  the  cell  seemed  on  fire,  and  Macarius 
came  forth.  God  permitted  this  delusion,  he  said,  lest  he  be  en- 
snared by  pride.  At  the  age  of  seventy-three  he  was  driven  into 
exile,  and  brutally  outraged  by  the  Arian  heretics.  He  died  a. p. 

Reflection. — Prayer  is  the  breath  of  the  soul.  But  St.  Maca- 
rius teaches  us  that  mind  and  body  must  be  brought  to  subjection 
before  the  soul  is  free  to  pray. 


ENEVIEVE  was  born  at  Nanterre,  near  Paris.  St.  Ger- 
manus,  when  passing  through,  specially  noticed  a  little 
shepherdess,  and  predicted  her  future  sanctity.  At  seven 
years  of  age  she  made  a  vow  of  perpetual  chastity.  After  the 
death  of  her  parents,  Paris  became  her  abode ;   but  she  often 


travelled  on  works  of  mercy,  which,  by  the  gifts  of  prophecy  and 
miracles,  she  unfailingly  performed.  At  one  time  she  was  cruelly 
persecuted  ;  her  enemies,  jealous  of  her  power,  called  her  a  hypo- 
crite, and  tried  to  drown  her ;  but  St.  Germanus,  having  sent  her 
some  blessed  bread  as  a  token  of  esteem,  the  outcry  ceased,  and  ever 
afterwards  she  was  honored  as  a  Saint.  During  the  siege  of  Paris 
by  Childeric,  King  of  the  Franks,  Genevieve  went  out  with  a  few 
followers  and  procured  corn  for  the  starving  citizens.  Never- 
theless Childeric,  though  a  pagan,  respected  her,  and  at  her 
request  spared  the  lives  of  many  prisoners.    By  her  exhortations 

again,  when  Attila  and  his  Huns  were  approaching  the  city,  the 
inhabitants,  instead  of  taking  flight,  gave  themselves  to  prayer 
and  penance,  and  averted,  as  she  had  foretold,  the  impending 
scourge.  Clovis,  when  converted  from  paganism  by  his  holy 
wife,  St.  Clotilda,  made  Genevieve  his  constant  adviser,  and,  in 
spite  of  his  violent  character,  became  a  generous  and  Christian 
king.  She  died  within  a  few  weeks  of  that  monarch,  in  512,  aged 

A  pestilence  broke  out  at  Paris  in  11 29,  which  in  a  short  time 
swept  off  14,000  persons,  and,  in  spite  of  all  human  efforts,  daily 
added  to  its  victims.  At  length,  on  November  26th,  the  shrine  of 
St.  Genevieve  was  carried  in  solemn  procession  through  the  city. 
That  same  day  but  three  persons  died,  the  rest  recovered,  and  no 




others  were  taken  ill.  This  was  but  the  first  of  a  series  of  miracu- 
lous favors  which  the  city  of  Paris  has  obtained  through  the  relics 
of  its  patron  Saint. 

Reflection. — Genevieve  was  only  a  poor  peasant  girl,  but 
Christ  dwelt  in  her  heart.  She  was  anointed  with  His  Spirit,  and 
with  power ;  she  went  about  doing  good,  and  God  was  with  her. 


fITUS  was  a  convert  from  heathenism,  a  disciple  of  St.  Paul, 
one  of  the  chosen  companions  of  the  Apostle  in  his  journey 
to  the  Council  of  Jerusalem,  and  his  fellow-laborer  in  many 
apostolic  missions.  From  the  second  epistle  which  St.  Paul  sent 
by  the  hand  of  Titus  to  the  Corinthians  we  gain  an  insight  into 
his  character,  and  understand  the  strong  affection  which  his  mas- 
ter bore  him.  Titus  had  been  commissioned  to  carry  out  a  two- 
fold office,  needing  much  firmness,  discretion,  and  charity.  He 
was  to  be  the  bearer  of  a  severe  rebuke  to  the  Corinthians,  who 
were  giving  scandal  and  wavering  in  their  faith ;  and  at  the  same 
time  he  was  to  put  their  charity  to  a  further  test  by  calling  upon 
them  for  abundant  alms  for  the  church  at  Jerusalem.  St.  Paul 
meanwhile  anxiously  awaited  the  result.  At  Troas  he  writes, 
"  I  had  no  rest  in  my  spirit,  because  I  found  not  Titus,  my  brother." 
He  set  sail  to  Macedonia.  Here  at  last  Titus  brought  the  good 
news.  His  success  had  been  complete.  He  reported  the  sorrow, 
the  zeal,  the  generosity  of  the  Corinthians,  till  the  Apostle  could 
not  contain  his  joy,  and  sent  back  to  them  his  faithful  messenger 
with  the  letter  of  comfort  from  which  we  have  quoted.  Titus  was 
finally  left  as  a  bishop  in  Crete,  and  here  he  in  turn  received  the 
epistle  which  bears  his  name,  and  here  at  last  he  died  in  peace. 

The  mission  of  Titus  to  Corinth  shows  us  how  well  the  dis- 
ciple caught  the  spirit  of  his  Master.  He  knew  how  to  be  firm 
and  to  inspire  respect.  The  Corinthians,  we  are  told,  "  received 
him  with  fear  and  trembling."  He  was  patient  and  painstaking. 
St.  Paul  ugave  thanks  to  God  who  had  put  such  carefulness  for 
them  in  the  heart  of  Titus."  And  these  gifts  were  enhanced  by  a 
quickness  to  detect  and  call  out  all  that  was  good  in  others,  and 
by  a  joyousness  which  overflowed  upon  the  spirit  of  St.  Paul  him- 
self, who  "abundantly  rejoiced  in  the  joy  of  Titus." 

Reflection. — Saints  win  their  empire  over  the  hearts  of  men 
by  their  wide  and  affectionate  sympathy.  This  was  the  character- 
istic gift  of  St.  Titus,  as  it  was  of  St.  Paul,  St.  Francis  Xavier,  and 
many  others. 



fT.  GREGORY  was  one  of  the  principal  senators  of  Auturi, 
and  continued  from  the  death  of  his  wife  a  widower  till  the 
age  of  fifty-seven,  at  which  time,  for  his  singular  virtues,  he 
was  consecrated  bishop  of  Langres,  which  see  he  governed  with 
admirable  prudence  and  zeal  thirty-three  years,  sanctifying  his 
pastoral  labors  by  the  most  profound  humility,  assiduous  prayer, 
and  extraordinary  abstinence  and  mortification.  An  incredible 
number  of  infidels  were  converted  by  him  from  idolatry,  and 
worldly  Christians  from  their  disorders.  He  died  about  the  be- 
ginning of  the  year  541,  but  some  days  after  the  Epiphany.  Out 
of  devotion  to  St.  Benignus,  he  desired  to  be  buried  near  that 
saint's  tomb  at  Dijon;  this  was  executed  by  his  virtuous  son 
Tetricus,  who  succeeded  him  in  his  bishopric. 


NE  winter's  day,  about  the  year  401,  the  snow  lay  thick 
around  Sisan,  a  little  town  in  Cilicia.  A  shepherd  boy,  who 
could  not  lead  his  sheep  to  the  fields  on  account  of  the  cold, 
went  to  the  church  instead,  and  listened  to  the  eight  beatitudes 
which  were  read  that  morning.    He  asked  how  these  blessings 
were  to  be  obtained,  and  when  he  was  told  of  the  monastic  life,  a 




thirst  for  perfection  arose  within  him.  He  became  the  wonder  of 
the  world,  the  great  St.  Simeon  Stylites.  He  was  warned  perfec- 
tion would  cost  him  dear,  and  so  it  did.  A  mere  child,  he  began 
the  monastic  life,  and  therein  passed  a  dozen  years  in  superhuman 
austerity.  He  bound  a  rope  round  his  waist  till  the  flesh  was 
putrified.  He  ate  but  once  in  seven  days,  and  when  God  led  him 
to  a  solitary  life,  kept  fasts  of  forty  days.  Thirty-seven  years  he 
spent  on  the  top  of  pillars,  exposed  to  heat  and  cold,  day  and 
night  adoring  the  majesty  of  God.    Perfection  was  all  in  all  to  St. 

Simeon ;  the  means  nothing,  except  in  so  far  as  God  chose  them 
for  him.  The  solitaries  of  Egypt  were  suspicious  of  a  life  so  new 
and  so  strange,  and  they  sent  one  of  their  number  to  bid  St. 
Simeon  come  down  from  his  pillar  and  return  to  the  common 
life.  In  a  moment  the  Saint  made  ready  to  descend,  but  the 
Egyptian  religious  was  satisfied  with  this  proof  of  humility. 
"Stay,"  he  said,  "and  take  courage;  your  way  of  life  is  from 
God."  Cheerfulness,  humility,  and  obedience  set  their  seal  upon 
the  austerities  of  St.  Simeon.  The  words  which  God  put  into  his 
mouth  brought  crowds  of  heathen  to  baptism,  and  of  sinners  to 
penance.  At  last,  in  the  year  460,  those  who  watched  below 
noticed  he  had  been  motionless  three  whole  days.  They  ascended, 
and  found  the  old  man's  body  still  bent  in  the  attitude  of  prayer, 
but  his  soul  was  with  God.    Extraordinary  as  the  life  of  St. 




Simeon  may  appear,  it  teaches  us  two  plain  and  practical  lessons. 
First,  we  must  constantly  renew  within  ourselves  an  intense  desire 
of  perfection.  Secondly,  we  must  use  with  fidelity  and  courage 
the  means  of  perfection  God  points  out. 

Reflection. — St.  Augustine  says  :  "  This  is  the  business  of 
our  life ;  by  effort  and  by  toil,  by  prayer  and  supplication,  to  ad- 
vance in  the  grace  of  God,  till  we  come  to  that  height  of  perfec- 
tion in  which  with  clean  hearts  we  may  behold  God." 


fHE  word    Epiphany  means   "  manifestation,"    and    it  has 
passed   into  general   acceptance   throughout   the  univer- 
sal  Church,  from   the   fact   that   Jesus  Christ  manifested 
to  the  eyes  of  men  His  divine  mission  on  this  day.     First  of 

all,  when  a  miraculous  star  revealed  His  birth  to  the  kings  of 
the  East,  who,  in  spite  of  the  difficulties  and  dangers  of  a  long 
and  tedious  journey  through  deserts  and  mountains  almost  im- 
passable, hastened  at  once  to  Bethlehem  to  adore  Him  and  to  offer 
Him  mystical  presents,  as  to  the  King  of  kings,  to  the  God  of 
heaven  and  earth,  and  to  a  Man  withal  feeble  and  mortal.  The 
second  manifestation  was  when,  going  out  from  the  waters  of  the 
Jordan,  after  having  received  baptism  from  the  hands  of  St.  John, 




the  Holy  Ghost  descended  on  Him  in  the  visible  form  of  a  dove, 
and  a  voice  from  heaven  was  heard,  saying  :  "  This  is  my  beloved 
Son,  in  whom  I  am  well  pleased."  The  third  manifestation  was 
that  of  His  divine  power  when  at  the  marriage-feast  of  Cana  he 
changed  the  water  into  wine,  at  the  sight  whereof  His  disciples 
believed  in  Him.  The  remembrance  of  these  three  great  events, 
concurring  to  the  same  end,  the  Church  has  wished  to  celebrate  in 
one  and  the  same  festival. 

Reflection. — Admire  the  almighty  power  of  this  little  Child, 
who  from  His  cradle  makes  known  His  coming  to  the  shepherds 
and  magi — to  the  shepherds  by  means  of  His  angel,  to  the  magi 
by  a  star  in  the  East.  Admire  the  docility  of  these  kings.  Jesus 
is  born.  Behold  them  at  His  feet !  Let  us  be  little,  let  us  hide 
ourselves,  and  the  divine  strength  will  be  granted  to  us.  Let  us 
be  docile  and  quick  in  following  divine  inspirations,  and  we  shall 
then  become  wise  of  the  wisdom  of  God,-  powerful  of  His 
almighty  power. 


T.  LUCIAN  was  born  at  Samosata,  in  Syria.  Having  lost 
his  parents  in  his  youth,  he  distributed  all  his  worldly  goods, 
of  which  he  inherited  an  abundant  share,  to  the  poor,  and 
withdrew  to  Edessa,  to  live  near  a  holy  man,  named  Macarius, 
who  imbued  his  mind  with  a  knowledge  of  the  Holy  Scriptures, 
and  led  him  to  the  practice  of  the  Christian  virtues.  Having  be- 
come a  priest,  his  time  was  divided  between  the  external  duties  of 
his  holy  state,  the  performance  of  works  of  charity,  and  the  study 
of  sacred  literature.  He  revised  the  books  of  the  Old  and  New 
Testament,  expunging  the  errors  which  had  found  their  way  into 
the  text  either  through  the  negligence  of  copyists  or  the  malice 
of  heretics,  thus  preparing  the  way  for  St.  Jerome,  who  shortly 
after  was  to  give  to  the  world  the  Latin  translation  known  as 
"  The  Vulgate."  Having  been  denounced  as  a  Christian,  Lucian 
was  thrown  into  prison  and  condemned  to  the  torture,  which  was 
protracted  for  twelve  whole  days.  Some  Christians  visited  him 
in  prison,  on  the  feast  of  the  Epiphany,  and  brought  bread  and 
wine  to  him  ;  while  bound  and  chained  down  on  his  back,  he 
consecrated  the  divine  mysteries  upon  his  own  breast,  and  com- 
municated the,  faithful  who  were  present.  He  finished  his  glo- 
rious career  in  prison,  and  died  with  the  words,  "I  am  a  Chris- 
tian," on  his  lips. 


Reflection. — If  we  would  keep  our  faith  pure,  we  must  study 
its  holy  truths.  We  cannot  detect  falsehood  till  we  know  and  love 
the  truth ;  and  to  us  the  truth  is  not  an  abstraction,  but  a  Person, 
Jesus  Christ,  God  and  Man. 


LAUDIUS  APOLLINARIS,  Bishop  of  Hierapolis,  in  Phry- 
gia,  was  one  of  the  most  illustrious  prelates  of  the  second 
age.  Notwithstanding  the  great  encomiums  bestowed  on  him 
by  Eusebius,  St.  Jerome,  Theodoret,  and  others,  but  little  is  known  of 
his  actions  ;  and  his  writings,  which  then  were  held  in  great  esteem, 
seem  now  to  be  all  lost.  He  wrote  many  able  treatises  against  the 
heretics,  and  pointed  out,  as  St.  Jerome  testifies,  from  what  philo- 
sophical sect  each  heresy  derived  its  errors.  Nothing  rendered  his 
name  so  illustrious,  however,  as  his  noble  apology  for  the  Christian 
religion  which  he  addressed  to  the  Emperor  Marcus  Aurelius,  about 
the  year  175,  soon  after  the  miraculous  victory  that  prince  had 
obtained  over  the  Quadi  by  the  prayers  of  the  Christians.  St. 
Apollinaris  reminded  the  emperor  of  the  benefit  he  had  received 
from  God  through  the  prayers  of  his  Christian  subjects,  and  im- 
plored protection  for  them  against  the  persecution  of  the  pagans. 
Marcus  Aurelius  published  an  edict  in  which  he  forbade  any  one, 


under  pain  of  death, -to  accuse  a  Christian  on  account  of  his  reli- 
gion ;  but,  by  a  strange  inconsistency,  he  had  not  the  courage  to 
abolish  the  laws  then  in  force  against  the  Christians,  and,  as  a  con- 
sequence, many  of  them  suffered  martyrdom,  though  their  accusers 
were  also  put  to  death.  The  date  of  St.  Apollinaris'  death  is  not 
known ;  the  Roman  Martyrology  mentions  him  on  the  8th  of 

Reflection. — "Therefore  I  say  unto  you,  all  things  whatsoever 
you  ask  when  ye  pray,  believe  that  you  shall  receive :  and  they 
shall  come  unto  you." 


T.  JULIAN  AND  ST.  BASILISSA,  though  married,  lived, 
by  mutual  consent,  in  perpetual  chastity;  they  sanctified 
themselves  by  the  most  perfect  exercises  of  an  ascetic 
life,  and  employed  their  revenues  in  relieving  the  poor  and 
the  sick.  For  this  purpose  they  converted  their  house  into  a  kind 
of  hospital,  in  which  they  sometimes  entertained  a  thousand  poor 
people.  Basilissa  attended  those  of  her  sex,  in  separate  lodgings 
from  the  men  ;  these  were  taken  care  of  by  Julian,  who  from  his 
charity  is  named  the  Hospitalarian.  Egypt,  where  they  lived,  had 
then  begun  to  abound  with  examples  of  persons  who,  either  in  the 




cities  or  in  the  deserts,  devoted  themselves  to  the  most  perfect 
exercises  of  charity,  penance,  and  mortification.  Basilissa,  after 
having  stood  seven  persecutions,  died  in  peace;  Julian  survived 
her  many  years  and  received  the  crown  of  a  glorious  martyrdom, 
together  with  Celsus,  a  youth,  Antony,  a  priest,  Anastatius,  and 
Marcianilla,  the  mother  of  Celsus.  Many  churches  and  hospitals 
in  the  East,  and  especially  in  the  West,  bear  the  name  of  one  or 
other  of  these  martyrs.  Four  churches  at  Rome,  and  three  out  of 
five  at  Paris,  which  bear  the  name  of  St.  Julian,  were  originally 
dedicated  under  the  name  of  St.  Julian,  the  Hospitalarian  and 

martyr.  In  the  time  of  St.  Gregory  the  Great,  the  skull  of  St. 
Julian  was  brought  out  of  the  East  into  France,  and  given  to  Queen 
Brunehault ;  she  gave  it  to  the  nunnery  which  she  founded  at 
Etampes ;  part  of  it  is  at  present  in  the  monastery  of  Morigny,  near 
Etampes,  and  part  in  the  church  of  the  regular  canonesses  of  St. 
Basilissa,  at  Paris. 

Reflection. — God  often  rewards  men  for  works  that  are 
pleasing  in  his  sight,  by  giving  them  grace  and  opportunity  to  do 
other  works  higher  still.  St.  Augustine  said,  "  I  have  never  seen  a 
compassionate  and  charitable  man  die  a  bad  death." 




irfS^riLLIAM  BERRUYER,  of  the  illustrious  family  of  the 
yfiSr  ancient  Counts  of  Nevers,  was  educated  by  Peter  the 
Hermit,  Archdeacon  of  Soissons,  his  uncle  by  the  mother's 
side.  From  his  infancy  William  learned  to  despise  the  folly  and 
emptiness  of  the  world,  to  abhor  its  pleasures,  and  to  trem- 
ble at  its  dangers.  His  only  delight  was  in  exercises  of 
piety  and  in  his  studies,  in  which  he  employed  his  whole 
time  with  indefatigable  application.  He  was  made  canon,  first 
of  Soissons,  and  afterwards  of  Paris;  but  he  soon  resolved 
to  abandon  the  world,  and  retired  into  the  solitude  of  Grand- 
mont,  where  he  lived  with  great  regularity  in  that  austere 
Order  until  finally  he  joined  the  Cistercians,  then  in  wonderful 
odor  of  sanctity.  After  some  time  he  was  chosen  prior  of  the 
Abbey  of  Pontigny,  and  afterwards  became  Abbot  of  Chaalis.  On 
the  death  of  Henri  de  Sully,  Archbishop  of  Bourges,  William 
was  chosen  to  succeed  him.  The  announcement  of  this  new  dignity 
which  had  fallen  on  him  overwhelmed  him  with  grief,  and  he 
would  not  have  accepted  the  office  had  not  the  Pope  and  his  gen- 
eral, the  Abbot  of  Citeaux,  commanded  him  to  do  so.  His  first 
care  in  his  new  position  was  to  conform  his  life  to  the  most  per- 
fect rules  of  sanctity.  He  redoubled  all  his  austerities,  saying  it 
was  incumbent  on  him  now  to  do  penance  for  others  as  well  as 




for  himself.  He  always  wore  a  hair-shirt  under  his  religious 
habit,  and  never  added  to  his  clothing  in  winter  or  diminished  it 
in  summer;  he  never  ate  any  flesh-meat,  though  he  had  it  at  his 
table  for  strangers.  When  he  drew  near  his  end,  he  was,  at  his 
request,  laid  on  ashes  in  his  hair-cloth,  and  in  this  posture  expired 
on  the  ioth  of  January,  1209.  His  body  was  interred  in  his  cathe- 
dral, and  being  honored  by  many  miracles,  was  taken  up  in  121 7, 
and  in  the  year  following,  William  was  canonized  by  Pope  Hono- 
rius  III. 

Reflection. — The  champions  of  faith  prove  the  truth  of  their 
teaching  no  less  by  the  holiness  of  their  lives  than  by  the  force  of 
their  arguments.  Never  forget  that  to  convert  others  we  must 
first  see  to  our  own  souls. 


HEODOSIUS  was  born  in  Cappadocia  in  423.  The  example 
of  Abraham  urged  him  to  leave  his  country,  and  his  desire 
to  follow  Jesus  Christ  attracted  him  to  the  religious  life.  He 

placed  himself  under  Longinus,  a  very  holy  hermit,  who  sent  him 
to  govern  a  monastery  near  Bethlehem.  Unable  to  bring  himself 
to  command  others,  he  fled  to  a  cavern,  where  he  lived  in  penance 




and  prayer.  His  great  charity,  however,  forbade  him  to  refuse  the 
charge  of  some  disciples,  who,  few  at  first,  became  in  time  a  vast, 
number,  and  Theodosius  built  a  large  monastery  and  three 
churches  for  them.  He  became  eventually  Superior  of  the  religi- 
ous communities  of  Palestine.  Theodosius  accommodated  him- 
self so  carefully  to  the  characters  of  his  subjects,  that  his  reproofs 
were  loved  rather  than  dreaded.  But  once  he  was  obliged  to  sepa- 
rate from  the  communion  of  the  others  a  religious  guilty  of  a  grave 
fault.  Instead  of  humbly  accepting  his  sentence,  the  monk  was  ar- 
rogant enough  to  pretend  to  excommunicate  Theodosius  in  revenge. 
Theodosius  thought  not  of  indignation,  nor  of  his  own  position,, 
but  meekly  submitted  to  this  false  and  unjust  excommunication. 
This  so  touched  the  heart  of  his  disciple  that  he  submitted  at  once, 
and  acknowledged  his  fault.  Theodosius  never  refused  assistance 
to  any  in  poverty  or  affliction ;  on  some  days  the  monks  laid  more 
than  a  hundred  tables  for  those  in  want.  In  times  of  famine, 
Theodosius  forbade  the  alms  to  be  diminished,  and  often  miracu- 
lously multiplied  the  provisions.  He  also  built  five  hospitals,  in 
which  he  lovingly  served  the  sick,  while  by  assiduous  spiritual; 
reading  he  maintained  himself  in  perfect  recollection.  He  suc- 
cessfully opposed  the  Eutychian  heresy  in  Jerusalem,  and  for  this 
was  banished  by  the  emperor.  He  suffered  a  long  and  painful 
malady,  and  refused  to  pray  to  be  cured,  calling  it  a  salutary 
penance  for  his  former  successes.  He  died  at  the  age  of  a  hund- 
red and  six. 

Reflection. — St.  Theodosius,  for  the  sake  of  charity,  sacrificed 
all  he  most  prized — his  home  for  the  love  of  God,  and  his  solitude 
for  the  love  of  his  neighbor.  Can  ours  be  true  charity  if  it  costs, 
us  little  or  nothing  ? 

JX\NE  thing  thou  lackest."    In  these  words,  God  called  Ael- 

red  from  the  court  of  a  royal  Saint,  David,  of  Scotland,. 

to  the  silence  of  the  cloister.  He  left  the  king,  the  com- 
panions of  his  youth,  and  a  friend  most  dear  to  obey  the  call.  The 
conviction  that  in  the  world  his  soul  was  in  danger  alone  enabled 
him  to  break  such  ties.  Long  afterwards  the  bitterness  of  the 
parting  remained  fresh  in  his  soul,  and  he  declared  that,  "  though 
he  had  left  his  dear  ones  in  the  body  to  serve  his  Lord,  his  heart 
was  ever  with  them."  He  entered  the  Cistercian  Order,  and  even 
there  his  yearning  for  sympathy  showed  itself  in  a  special  attrac- 
tion  to  one  among  the  brethren  named  Simon.    This  holy  monk 



had  left  the  world  in  his  youth,  and  appeared  as  one  deaf  and 
dumb,  so  absorbed  was  he  in  God.  One  day  Aelred,  forgetting 
for  the  moment  the  rule  of  perpetual  silence,  spoke  to  him.  At 
once  he  prostrated  himself  at  his  feet  in  token  of  his  fault  ;  but 
Simon's  look  of  pain  and  displeasure  haunted  him  for  many  a  year, 
and  taught  him  to  let  no  human  feeling  disturb  for  one  moment 
his  union  with  God.  A  certain  novice  once  came  to  Aelred,  saying 
that  he  must  return  to  the  world.  But  Aelred  had  begged  his 
soul  of  God,  and  answered,  "  Brother,  ruin  not  thyself;  neverthe- 
less thou  canst  hot,  even  though  thou  wouldst."    However,  he 

would  not  listen,  and  wandered  among  the  hills,  thinking  all  the 
while  he  was  going  far  from  the  abbey.  At  sunset  he  found  him- 
self before  a  convent  strangely  like  Rieveaux,  and  so  it  was.  The 
first  monk  he  met  was  Aelred,  who  fell  on  his  neck,  saying,  "  Son, 
why  hast  thou  done  so  with  me  ?  Lo  !  I  have  wept  for  thee  with 
many  tears,  and  I  trust  in  God  that,  as  I  have  asked  of  Him,  thou 
shalt  not  perish."  The  world  does  not  so  love  its  friends.  At  the 
command  of  his  superiors  Aelred  composed  his  great  works,  the 
Spiritual  Friendship  and  the  Mirror  of  Charity.  In  the  latter  he 
says  that  true  love  of  God  is  only  to  be  obtained  by  joining  our- 
selves in  all  things  to  the  Passion  of  Christ.  He  died  in  1167, 
founder  and  Abbot  of  Rieveaux,  the  most  austere  monastery  in 
England,  and  Superior  of  some  three  hundred  monks. 



[JANUARY  13. 

Reflection. — When  a  man  has  given  himself  to  God,  God  gives 
back  friendship  with  all  His  other  gifts  a  hundredfold.  Friends  are 
then  loved  no  longer  for  themselves  only,  but  for  God,  and  that 
with  a  love  lively  and  tender  ;  for  God  can  easily  purify  feel- 
ing.   It  is  not  feeling,  but  self-love,  which  corrupts  friendship. 


ERONICA'S  parents  were  peasants  of  a  village  near  Milan. 
From  her  childhood  she  toiled  hard  in  the  house  and  the 
field,  and  accomplished  cheerfully  every  menial  task.  Grad- 
ually the  desire  for  perfection  grew  within  her ;  she  became  deaf 

to  the  jokes  and  songs  of  her  companions,  and  sometimes,  when 
reaping  and  hoeing,  would  hide  her  face  and  weep.  Knowing  no 
letters,  she  began  to  be  anxious  about  her  learning,  and  rose 
secretly  at  night  to  teach  herself  to  read.  Our  Lady  told  her  that 
other  things  were  necessary,  but  not  this.  She  showed  Veronica 
three  mystical  letters,  which  would  teach  her  more  than  books. 
The  first  signified  purity  of  intention ;  the  second,  abhorrence  of 
murmuring  or  criticism;  the  third,  daily  meditation  on  the  Pas- 
sion. By  the  first,  she  learned  to  begin  her  daily  duties  for  no 
human  motive,  but  for  God  alone.  By  the  second,  to  carry  out 
what  she  had  thus  begun  by  attending  to  her  own  affairs,  never 
judging  her  neighbor,  but  praying  for  those  who  manifestly  erred 

JANUARY  14.] 



By  the  third,  she  was  enabled  to  forget  her  own  pains  and  sorrows 
in  those  of  her  Lord,  and  to  weep  hourly,  but  silently,  over  the 
memory  of  His  wrongs.  She  had  constant  ecstasies,  and  saw  in 
successive  visions  the  whole  life  of  Jesus,  and  many  other  myste- 
ries. Yet,  by  a  special  grace,  neither  her  raptures  nor  her  tears 
ever  interrupted  her  labors,  which  ended  only  with  death.  After 
three  years'  patient  waiting,  she  was  received  as  a  lay-sister  in  the 
convent  of  St.  Martha,  at  Milan.  The  community  was  extremely 
poor,  and  Veronica's  duty  was  to  beg  through  the  city  for  their 
daily  food.  Three  years  after  receiving  the  habit,  she  was  afflicted 
with  secret  but  constant  bodily  pains,  yet  never  would  consent  to 
be  relieved  of  any  of  her  labors,  or  to  omit  one  of  her  prayers. 
By  exact  obedience,  she  became  a  living  copy  of  the  rule,  and 
obeyed  with  a  smile  the  least  hint  of  her  Superior.  She  sought  to 
the  last  the  most  hard  and  humbling  occupations,  and  in  their 
performance  enjoyed  some  of  the  highest  favors  ever  granted  to 
Saint.  She  died  in  1497,  on  the  day  she  had  foretold,  after  a  six 
months'  illness,  aged  fifty-two  years,  and  in  the  thirtieth  of  her 
religious  profession. 

Reflection. — When  Veronica  was  urged  in  sickness  to  accept 
some  exemption  from  her  labors,  her  one  answer  was  :  "  I  must 
work  while  I  can,  while  I  have  time."  Dare  we,  then,  waste  ours  ? 


fT.  HILARY  was  a  native  of  Poitiers,  in  Aquitaine.  Born 
and  educated  a  pagan,  it  was  not  till  near  middle  age  that  he 
embraced  Christianity,  moved  thereto  mainly  by  the  idea  of 
God  presented  to  him  in  the  Holy  Scriptures.  He  soon  converted 
his  wife  and  daughter,  and  separated  himself  rigidly  from  all  un- 
Catholic  company.  In  the  beginning  of  his  conversion,  St.  Hilary 
would  not  eat  with  Jews,  or  heretics,  nor  salute  them  by  the  way. 
But  afterwards,  for  their  sake,  he  relaxed  this  severity.  He  entered 
Holy  Orders,  and  in  353  was  chosen  bishop  of  his  native  city. 
Arianism,  under  the  protection  of  the  Emperor  Constantius,  was 
just  then  in  the  height  of  its  power,  and  St.  Hilary  found  himself 
called  upon  to  support  the  orthodox  cause  in  several  Gallic  coun- 
cils, in  which  Arian  bishops  formed  an  overwhelming  majority. 
He  was  in  consequence  accused  to  the  emperor,  who  banished  him 
to  Phrygia.  He  spent  his  three  years  and  more  of  exile  in  com- 
posing his  great  works  on  the  Trinity.    In  359  he  attended  the 



Council  of  Seleucia,  in  which  Arians,  semi-Arians,  and  Catholics 
contended  for  the  mastery.  With  the  deputies  of  the  council  he 
proceeded  to  Constantinople,  and  there  so  dismayed  the  heads  of 
the  Arian  party,  that  they  prevailed  upon  the  emperor  to  let  him 
return  to  Gaul.  He  traversed  Gaul,  Italy,  and  Illyria,  wherever 
he  came  discomfiting  the  heretics,  and  procuring  the  triumph  of 
orthodoxy.  After  seven  or  eight  years  of  missionary  travel  he  re- 
turned to  Poitiers,  where  he  died  in  peace  in  368. 

Reflection. — Like  St.  Hilary,  we,  too,  are  called  to  a  life-long 
contest  with  heretics ;  we  shall  succeed  in  proportion  as  we  com- 
bine hatred  of  heresy  with  compassion  for  its  victims. 


T.  PAUL  was  born  in  Upper  Egypt,  about  the  year  230,  and 
became  an  orphan  at  the  age  of  fifteen,  being  very  rich  and 
highly  educated.  Fearing  lest  the  tortures  of  a  terrible  per- 
secution might  endanger  his  perseverance,  he  retired  into  a  remote 
village.  But  his  pagan  brother-in-law  denounced  him,  and  St. 
Paul,  rather  than  remain  where  his  faith  was  in  danger,  entered 
the  barren  desert,  trusting  that  God  would  supply  his  wants.  And 
his  confidence  was  rewarded  ;  for  in  the  spot  to  which  Providence 

JANUARA'  15.] 



led  him  he  found  the  fruit  of  the  palm-tree  for  food,  and  its  leaves 
for  clothing,  and  the  water  of  the  spring  for  drink.  His  first  de- 
sign was  to  return  to  the  world  when  the  persecution  was  over, 
but  tasting  great  delights  in  prayer  and  penance,  he  remained  the 
rest  of  his  life,  ninety  years,  in  penance,  prayer,  and  contempla- 
tion. God  revealed  his  existence  to  St.  Antony,  who  sought  him 
for  three  days.  Seeing  a  thirsty  she-wolf  run  through  an  opening 
in  the  rocks,  Antony  followed  her  to  look  for  water,  and  found 
Paul.  They  knew  each  other  at  once,  and  praised  God  together. 
When  St.  Antony  visited  him,  a  raven  brought  him  a  loaf,  and  St. 
Paul  said,  "  See  how  good  God  is  !  For  sixty  years  this  bird  has 
brought  me  half  a  loaf  every  day  ;  now  thou  art  come,  Christ  has 

doubled  the  provision  for  His  servants."  Having  passed  the 
night  in  prayer,  at  dawn  of  day  Paul  told  Antony  he  was  about 
to  die,  and  asked  to  be  buried  in  the  cloak  given  to  Antony  by 
St.  Athanasius.  Antony  hastened  to  fetch  it,  and  on  his  way  back 
saw  Paul  rise  to  heaven  in  glory.  He  found  his  dead  body  kneel- 
ing as  if  in  prayer,  and  two  lions  came  and  dug  his  grave.  Paul 
died  in  his  one  hundred  and  thirteenth  year. 

Reflection. — We  shall  never  repent  of  having  trusted  in  God, 
for  he  cannot  fail  those  who  lean  on  him  ;  nor  shall  we  ever 
trust  in  ourselves  without  being  deceived. 



[JANUARY  1 6. 


fT.  HONORATUS  was  of  a  consular  Roman  family,  settled 
in  Gaul.  In  his  youth  he  renounced  the  worship  of  idols, 
and  gained  his  elder  brother,  Venantius,  to  Christ.  Con- 
vinced of  the  hollowness  of  the  things  of  this  world,  they  wished 
to  renounce  it  with  all  its  pleasures,  but  a  fond,  pagan  father  put 
continual  obstacles  in  their  way.  At  length,  taking  with  them  St. 
Caprais,  a  holy  hermit,  for  their  director,  they  sailed  from  Mar- 
seilles to  Greece,  with  the  intention  to  live  there  unknown,  in 

some  desert.  Venantius  soon  died  happily  at  Methone,  and  Hon- 
oratus,  being  also  sick,  was  obliged  to  return  with  his  conductor. 
He  first  led  an  ermetical  life  in  the  mountains,  near  Frejus.  Two 
small  islands  lie  in  the  sea  near  that  coast ;  on  the  smaller,  now 
known  as  St.  Honore,  our  saint  settled ;  and  being  followed  by 
others,  he  there  founded  the  famous  monastery  of  Lerins,  about 
the  year  400.  Some  of  his  followers  he  appointed  to  live  in  com- 
munity ;  others,  who  seemed  more  perfect,  in  separate  cells  as 
anchorets.  His  rule  was  chiefly  borrowed  from  that  of  St.  Pacho- 
mius.  Nothing  can  be  more  amiable  than  the  description  St. 
Hilary  has  given  of  the  excellent  virtues  of  this  company  of 
saints,  especially  of  the  charity,  concord,  humility,  compunction, 
and  devotion  which  reigned  among  them,  under  the  conduct  of 




our  holy  abbot.  He  was,  by  compulsion,  consecrated  Archbishop 
of  Aries  in  426,  and  died,  exhausted  with  austerities  and  apostolical 
labors,  in  429. 

Reflection. — The  soul  cannot  truly  serve  God  while  it  is  in- 
volved in  the  distractions  and  pleasures  of  the  world.  St.  Hon- 
oratus  knew  this,  and  chose  to  be  a  servant  of  Christ  his  Lord. 
Resolve,  in  whatever  state  you  are,  to  live  absolutely  detached 
from  the  world,  and  to  separate  yourself  as  much  as  possible 
from  it. 


fT.  ANTONY  was  born  in  the  year  251,  in  Upper  Egypt. 
Hearing  at  Mass  the  words,  "  If  thou  wilt  be  perfect,  go  sell 
what  thou  hast  and  give  to  the  poor,"  he  gave  away  all  his 
vast  possessions.  He  then  begged  an  aged  hermit  to  teach  him 
the  spiritual  life.  He  also  visited  various  solitaries,  copying  in 
himself  the  principal  virtue  of  each.  To  serve  God  more  per- 
fectly, Antony  entered  the  desert  and  immured  himself  in  a  ruin, 

building  up  the  door  so  that  none  could  enter.  Here  the  devils 
assaulted  him  most  furiously,  appearing  as  various  monsters,  and 
even  wounding  him  severely ;  but  his  courage  never  failed,  and 
he  overcame  them  all  by  confidence  in  God  and  the  sign  of  the 



[JANUARY  I  8. 

Cross.  One  night,  whilst  Antony  was  in  his  solitude,  many  devils 
scourged  him  so  terribly  that  he  lay  as  if  dead.  A  friend  found 
him  thus,  and  believing  him  dead  carried  him  home.  But  when 
Antony  came  to  himself  he  persuaded  his  friend  to  carry  him,  in 
spite  of  his  wounds,  back  to  his  solitude.  Here,  prostrate  from 
weakness,  he  defied  the  devils,  saying,  "I  fear  you  not;  you  can- 
not separate  me  from  the  love  of  Christ."  After  more  vain 
assaults,  the  devils  fled,  and  Christ  appeared  to  Antony  in  glory. 
His  only  food  was  bread  and  water,  which  he  never  tasted  before 
sunset,  and  sometimes  only  once  in  two,  three,  or  four  days.  He 
wore  sackcloth  and  sheepskin,  and  he  often  knelt  in  prayer  from 
sunset  to  sunrise.  Many  souls  flocked  to  him  for  advice,  and 
after  twenty  years  of  solitude  he  consented  to  guide  them  in  holi- 
ness :  thus  founding  the  first  monastery.  His  numerous  miracles 
attracted  such  multitudes  that  he  fled  again  into  solitude,  where 
he  lived  by  manual  labor.  He  expired  peacefully  at  a  very  ad- 
vanced age.  St.  Athanasius,  his  biographer,  says  that  the  mere 
knowledge  of  how  St.  Antony  lived  is  a  good  guide  to  virtue. 

Reflection. — The  more  violent  were  the  assaults  of  tempta- 
tion suffered  by  St.  Antony,  the  more  firmly  did  he  grasp  his 
weapons,  namely,  mortification  and  prayer.  Let  us  imitate  him 
in  this  if  we  wish  to  obtain  victories  like  this. 


T.  PETER  having  triumphed  over  the  devil  in  the  East,  pur- 
sued him  to  Rome  in  the  person  of  Simon  Magus.  He  who 
had  formerly  trembled  at  the  voice  of  a  poor  maid,  now 
feared-  not  the  very  throne  of  idolatry  and  superstition.  The 
capital  of  the  empire  of  the  world,  and  the  centre  of  impiety,  called 
for  the  zeal  of  the  Prince  of  Apostles.  God  had  established  the 
Roman  Empire,  and  extended  its  dominion  beyond  that  of  any 
former  monarchy,  for  the  more  easy  propagation  of  His  gospel. 
Its  metropolis  was  of  the  greatest  importance  for  this  enterprise. 
St.  Peter  took  that  province  upon  himself,  and  repairing  to  Rome, 
there  preached  the  faith,  and  established  his  ecclesiastical  chair. 
That  St.  Peter  preached  in  Rome,  founded  the  church  there,  and 
died  there  by  martyrdom  under  Nero,  are  facts  the  most  incon- 
testable by  the  testimony  of  all  writers  of  different  countries  who 
lived  near  that  time;  persons  of  unquestionable  veracity,  and  who 
could  not  but  be  informed  of  the  truth  in  a  point  so  interesting, 


and  of  its  own  nature  so  public  and  notorious.  This  is  also  at- 
tested by  monuments  of  every  kind  ;  also  by  the  prerogatives, 
rights,  and  privileges  which  that  church  enjoyed  from  those  early 
ages,  in  consequence  of  this  title.  It  was  an  ancient  custom  ob- 
served by  churches,  to  keep  an  annual  festival  of  the  consecra- 
tion of  their  bishops.  The  feast  of  the  Chair  of  St.  Peter  is  found 
in  ancient  martyrologies.  Christians  justly  celebrate  the  found- 
ing of  this  mother-church,  the  centre  of  Catholic  communion,  in 
thanksgiving  to  God  for  His  mercies  to  His  Church,  and  to  implore 
His  future  blessings. 

Reflection. — As  one  of  God's  greatest  mercies  to  His  Church, 
let  us  earnestly  beg  of  Him  to  raise  up  in  it  zealous  pastors,  emi- 
nently replenished  with  His  Spirit,  with  which  He  animated  His 


T.  CANUTUS,  King  of  Denmark,  was  endowed  with  excel- 
lent qualities  of  both  mind  and  body.  It  is  hard  to  say 
whether  he  excelled  more  in  courage,  or  in  conduct  and  skill 
in  war;  but  his  singular  piety  eclipsed  all  his  other  endowments. 
He  cleared  the  seas  of  pirates,  and  subdued  several  neighboring 
provinces  which  infested  Denmark  with  their  incursions.  The 



[JANUARY  19. 

Kingdom  of  Denmark  was  elective  till  the  year  1660,  and  when  the 
father  of  Canutus  died,  his  eldest  brother,  Harold,  was  called  to  the 
throne.  Harold  died  after  reigning  for  two  years,  and  Canutus 
was  chosen  to  succeed  him.  He  began  his  reign  by  a  successful 
war  against  the  troublesome,  barbarous  enemies  of  the  state,  and 
by  planting  the  faith  in  the  conquered  provinces.  Amid  the  glory 
of  his  victories,  he  humbly  prostrated  himself  at  the  foot  of  the 
crucifix,  laying  there  his  diadem,  and  offering  himself  and  his 
kingdom  to  the  King  of  kings.  After  having  provided  for  the  peace 
and  safety  of  his  country,  he  married  Eltha,  daughter  of  Robert 

Earl  of  Flanders,  who  proved  a  spouse  worthy  of  him.  His  next 
concern  was  to  reform  abuses  at  home.  For  this  purpose  he  en- 
acted severe  but  necessary  laws  for  the  strict  administration  of 
justice,  and  repressed  the  violence  and  tyranny  of  the  great,  with- 
out respect  to  persons.  He  countenanced  and  honored  holy  men, 
and  granted  many  privileges  and  immunities  to  the  clergy.  His 
charity  and  tenderness  towards  his  subjects  made  him  study  by 
all  possible  ways  to  make  them  a  happy  people.  He  showed  a 
royal  magnificence  in  building  and  adorning  churches,  and  gave 
the  crown  which  he  wore,  of  exceeding  great  value,  to  a  church  in  his 
capital  and  place  of  residence,  where  the  kings  of  Denmark  are 
yet  buried.  To  the  virtues  which  constitute  a  great  king,  Canutus 
added  those  which  prove  the  great  saint.    A  rebellion  having 

JANUARY  20.] 



sprung  up  in  his  kingdom,  the  king  was  surprised  at  church  by  the 
rebels.  Perceiving  his  danger,  he  confessed  his  sins  at  the  foot  of 
the  altar,  and  received  holy  communion.  Stretching  out  his  arms 
before  the  altar,  the  saint  fervently  recommended  his  soul  to  his 
Creator;  in  this  posture  he  was  struck  by  a  javelin,  thrown 
through  a  window,  and  fell  a  victim  for  Christ's  sake. 

Reflection. — The  soul  of  a  man  is  endowed  with  many  noble 
powers,  and  feels  a  keen  joy  in  their  exercise;  but  the  keenest  joy 
we  are  capable  of  feeling,  consists  in  prostrating  all  our  powers  of 
mind  and  heart  in  humblest  adoration  before  the  majesty  of  God. 


T.  SEBASTIAN  was  an  officer  in  the  Roman  army,  esteemed 
even  by  the  heathen  as  a  good  soldier,  and  honored  by 
the  Church  ever  since  as  a  champion  of  Jesus  Christ.  Born 
at  Narbonne,  Sebastian  came  to  Rome  about  the  year  284,  and 

entered  the  lists  with  the  powers  of  evil.  He  found  the  twin 
brothers,  Marcus  and  Marcellinus,  in  prison  for  the  faith,  and 
when  they  were  near  yielding  to  the  entreaties  of  their  rela- 
tives, encouraged  them  to  despise  flesh  and  blood,  and  to  die 
for  Christ.    God  confirmed  his  words  by  miracle ;  light  shone 



[JANUARY  21. 

around  him  while  he  spoke  ;  he  cured  the  sick  by  his  prayers  ;  and 
in  this  divine  strength  he  led  multitudes  to  the  faith,  and  among 
them  the  Prefect  of  Rome,  with  his  son  Tiburtius.  He  saw  his 
disciples  die  before  him,  and  one  of  them  came  back  from  heaven 
to  tell  him  his  own  end  was  near.  It  was  in  a  contest  of  fervor 
and  charity  that  St.  Sebastian  found  the  occasion  of  martyrdom. 
The  Prefect  of  Rome,  after  his  conversion,  retired  to  his  estates 
in  Campania,  and  took  a  great  number  of  his  fellow-converts  with 
him  to  this  place  of  safety.  It  was  a  question  whether  Polycarp 
the  priest,  or  St.  Sebastian  should  accompany  the  neophytes*  Each 
was  eager  to  stay  and  face  the  danger  at  Rome,  and  at  last  the 
Pope  decided  that  the  Roman  Church  could  not  spare  the  services 
of  Sebastian.  He  continued  to  labor  at  the  post  of  danger  till  he 
was  betrayed  by  a  false  disciple.  He  was  led  before  Diocletian, 
and,  at  the  emperor's  command,  pierced  with  arrows  and  left  for 
dead.  But  God  raised  him  up  again,  and  of  his  own  accord  he 
went  before  the  emperor,  and  conjured  him  to  stay  the  persecution 
of  the  Church.  Again  sentenced,  he  was  at  last  beaten  to  death  by 
clubs,  and  crowned  his  labors  by  the  merit  of  a  double  martyr- 

Reflection. — Your  ordinary  occupations  will  give  you  oppor- 
tunities of  laboring  for  the  faith.  Ask  help  from  St.  Sebastian. 
He  was  not  a  priest  or  a  religious,  but  a  soldier. 


\§DT.  AGNES  was  but  twelve  years  old  when  she  was  led  to  the 
V«S)  altar  of  Minerva  at  Rome,  and  commanded  to  obey  the 
persecuting  laws  of  Diocletian,  by  offering  incense.  In  the 
midst  of  the  idolatrous  rites  she  raised  her  hands  to  Christ,  her 
Spouse,  and  made  the  sign  of  the  life-giving  Cross.  She  did  not 
shrink  when  she  was  bound  hand  and  foot,  though  the  gyves 
slipped  from  her  young  hands,  and  the  heathens  who  stood  around 
were  moved  to  tears.  The  bonds  were  not  needed  for  her,  and  she 
hastened  gladly  to  the  place  of  her  torture.  Next,  when  the 
judge  saw  that  pain  had  no  terrors  for  her,  he  inflicted  an  insult 
worse  than  death.  Her  clothes  were  stripped  off,  and  she  had  to 
stand  in  the  street  before  a  pagan  crowd  ;  yet  even  this  did  not 
daunt  her.  "  Christ,"  she  said,  "  will  guard  His  own."  So  it  was. 
Christ  showed,  by  a  miracle,  the  value  which  He  sets  upon  the 
custody  of  the  eyes.    Whilst  the  crowd  turned  away  their  eyes 

JANUARY  22.] 



from  the  spouse  of  Christ,  as  she  stood  exposed  to  view  in  the 
street,  there  was  one  young  man  who  dared  to  gaze  at  the  inno- 
cent child  with  immodest  eyes.  A  flash  of  light  struck  him  blind, 
and  his  companions  bore  him  away  half  dead  with  pain  and 

Lastly,  her  fidelity  to  Christ  was  proved  by  flattery  and  offers 
•of  marriage.  But  she  answered,  "  Christ  is  my  Spouse  :  He  chose 
me  first,  and  His  I  will  be."  At  length  the  sentence  of  death  was 
passed.    For  a  moment  she  stood  erect  in  prayer,  and  then  bowed 


her  neck  to  the  sword.  At  one  stroke  her  head  was  severed  from 
her  body,  and  the  angels  bore  her  pure  soul  to  Paradise. 

Reflection. — Her  innocence  endeared  St.  Agnes  to  Christ,  as 
it  has  endeared  her  to  His  Church  ever  since.  Even  as  penitents 
we  may  imitate  this  innocence  of  hers  in  our  own  degree.  Let  us 
strictly  guard  our  eyes,  and  Christ,  when  He  sees  that  we  keep 
our  hearts  pure  for  love  of  Him,  will  renew  our  youth,  and  give 
us  back  the  years  which  the  canker-worm  has  wasted. 


^j^INCENT  was  archdeacon  of  the  church  at  Saragossa.  Vale- 
rian, the  bishop,  had  an  impediment  in  his  speech  ;  thus 
Vincent  preached  in  his  stead  and  answered  in  his  name 
when  both  were  brought  before  Dacian  the  president,  during  the 



[JANUARY  22. 

persecution  of  Diocletian.  When  the  bishop  was  sent  into  ban- 
ishment, Vincent  remained  to  suffer  and  to  die.  First  of  all,  he 
was  stretched  on  the  rack  ;  and  when  he  was  almost  torn  asunder, 
Dacian  the  president  asked  him  in  mockery  "how  he  fared  now." 
Vincent  answered,  with  joy  in  his  face,  that  he  had  ever  prayed  to 
be  as  he  was  then.  It  was  in  vain  that  Dacian  struck  the  execu- 
tioners, and  goaded  them  on  in  their  savage  work.  The  martyr's 
flesh  was  torn  with  hooks  ;  he  was  bound  in  a  chair  of  red-hot 
iron ;  lard  and  salt  were  rubbed  into  his  wounds ;  and  amid  all 

this  he  kept  his  eyes  raised  to  heaven,  and  remained  unmoved. 
He  was  cast  into  a  solitary  dungeon,  with  his  feet  in  the  stocks  ; 
but  the  angels  of  Christ  illuminated  the  darkness,  and  assured 
Vincent  that  he  was  near  his  triumph.  His  wounds  were  now 
tended  to  prepare  him  for  fresh  torments,  and  the  faithful  were  per- 
mitted to  gaze  on  his  mangled  body.  They  came  in  troops,  kissed 
the  open  sores,  and  carried  away  as  relics  cloths  dipped  in  his 
blood.  Before  the  tortures  could  recommence,  the  martyr's  hour 
came,  and  he  breathed  forth  his  soul  in  peace. 

Even  the  dead  bodies  of  the  saints  are  precious  in  the  sight  of 
God,  and  the  hand  of  iniquity  cannot  touch  them.  A  raven 
guarded  the  body  of  Vincent  where  it  lay  flung  upon  the  earth. 
When  it  was  sunk  out  at  sea  the  wave  cast  it  ashore  ;  and  his  rel- 
ics are  preserved  to  this  day  in  the  Augustinian  monastery  at  Lis- 
bon, for  the  consolation  Of  the  Church  of  Christ. 

JANUARY  23.] 



Reflection. — Do  you  wish  to  be  at  peace  amidst  suffering  and 
temptation  ?  Then  make  it  your  principal  endeavor  to  grow  in 
habits  of  prayer  and  in  union  with  Christ.  Have  confidence  in 
Him.  He  will  make  you  victorious  over  your  spiritual  enemies 
and  over  yourself.  He  will  enlighten  your  darkness  and  sweeten 
your  sufferings,  and  in  your  solitude  and  desolation  He  will  draw 
nigh  to  you  with  His  holy  angels. 


VjTgftORN  a.d.  1 1 75,  of  a  Spanish  noble  family,  Raymund,  at  the 
j^p)  age  of  twenty,  taught  philosophy  at  Barcelona  with  marvel- 
lous success.    Ten  years  later,  his  rare  abilities  won  for  him 
the  degree  of  Doctor  in  the  University  of  Bologna,  and  many  high 

dignities.  A  tender  devotion  to  our  Blessed  Lady,  which  had 
grown  up  with  him  from  childhood,  determined  him  in  middle 
life  to  renounce  all  his  honors  and  to  enter  her  Order  of  St.  Dom- 
inic. There  again  a  vision  of  the  Mother  of  Mercy  instructed 
him  to  cooperate  with  his  penitent  St.  Peter  Nolasco,  and  with 
James,  King  of  Aragon,  in  founding  the  Order  of  Our  Lady  of 
Ransom  for  the  Redemption  of  Captives.  He  began  this  great 
work  by  preaching  a  crusade  against  the  Moors,  and  rousing  to 
penance  the  Christians,  enslaved  in  both  soul  and  body  by  the  in- 



[JANUARY  24. 

fidel.  King  James  of  Aragon,  a  man  of  great  qualities,  but  held 
in  bond  by  a  ruling  passion,  was  bidden  by  the  saint  to  put  away 
the  cause  of  his  sin.  On  his  delay,  Raymund  asked  for  leave  to 
depart  from  Majorca,  since  he  could  not  live  with  sin.  The  king 
refused,  and  forbade,  under  pain  of  death,  his  conveyance  by 
others.  Full  of  faith,  Raymund  spread  his  cloak  upon  the  waters, 
and  tying  one  end  to  his  staff  as  a  sail,  made  the  sign  of  the  Cross 
and  fearlessly  stepped  upon  it.  In  six  hours  he  was  borne  to  Bar- 
celona, where,  gathering  up  his  cloak  dry,  he  stole  into  his  mon- 
astery. The  king,  overcome  by  this  miracle,  became  a  sincere 
penitent  and  the  disciple  of  the  Saint  till  his  death.  In  1230^ 
Gregory  IX.  summoned  Raymund  to  Rome,  and  made  him  his  con- 
fessor and  grand  penitentiary,  and  directed  him  to  compile  "  the 
Decretals,"  a  collection  of  the  scattered  decisions  of  the  Popes  and 
Councils.  Having  refused  the  archbishopric  of  Tarragona,  Ray- 
mund found  himself  in  1238  chosen  third  general  of  his  Order; 
which  post  he  again  succeeded  in  resigning,  on  the  score  of  his 
advanced  age.  His  first  act,  when  set  free,  was  to  resume  his 
labors  among  the  infidels,  and  in  1256,  Raymund,  then  eighty-one, 
was  able  to  report  that  ten  thousand  Saracens  had  received  bap- 
tism.   He  died  a.d.  1275. 

Reflection. — Ask  St.  Raymund  to  protect  you  from  that  fear- 
ful servitude,  worse  than  any  bodily  slavery,  which  even  one  sin- 
ful habit  tends  to  form. 


IMOTHY  was  a  convert  of  St.  Paul.  He  was  born  at  Lys- 
tra,  in  Asia  Minor.  His  mother  was  a  Jewess,  but  his  father 
was  a  pagan  ;  and  though  Timothy  had  read  the  Scriptures, 
from  his  childhood,  he  had  not  been  circumcised  as  a  Jew.  On 
the  arrival  of  St.  Paul  at  Lystra  the  youthful  Timothy,  with  his, 
mother  and  grandmother,  eagerly  embraced  the  faith.  Seven 
years  later,  when  the  Apostle  again  visited  the  country,  the  boy 
had  grown  into  manhood,  while  his  good  heart,  his  austerities, 
and  zeal  had  won  the  esteem  of  all  around  him  ;  and  holy  men 
were  prophesying  great  things  of  the  fervent  youth.  St.  Paul  at 
once  saw  his  fitness  for  the  work  of  an  evangelist.  Timothy  was 
forthwith  ordained,  and  from  that  time  became  the  constant  and 
much  beloved  fellow-worker  of  the  apostle.  In  company  with 
St.  Paul  he  visited  the  cities  of  Asia  Minor  and  Greece;  at  one 

JANUARY  24.] 



time  hastening  on  in  front  as  a  trusted  messenger,  at  another 
lingering  behind  to  confirm  in  the  faith  some  recently  founded 
church.  Finally,  he  was  made  the  first  Bishop  of  Ephesus ;  and 
here  he  received  the  two  Epistles  which  bear  his  name,  the  first 
written  from  Macedonia  and  the  second  from  Rome,  in  which  St. 
Paul  from  his  prison  gives  vent  to  his  longing  desire  to  see  his 
"dearly  beloved  son,"  if  possible,  once  more  before  his  death. 
St.  Timothy  himself,  not  many  years  after  the  death  of  St.  Paul, 
won  his  martyr's  crown  at  Ephesus.  As  a  child  Timothy  delighted 
in  reading  the  sacred  books,  and  to  his  last  hour  he  would  re- 

member the  parting  words  of  his  spiritual  father,  "  Attende  lectioni 
— Apply  thyself  to  reading." 

Reflection. — St.  Paul,  in  writing  to  Timothy,  a  faithful  and 
well-tried  servant  of  God,  and  a  bishop  now  getting  on  in  years, 
addresses  him  as  a  child,  and  seems  most  anxious  about  his  perse- 
verance in  faith  and  piety.  The  letters  abound  in  minute  personal 
instructions  for  this  end.  It  is  therefore  remarkable  what  great 
stress  the  apostle  lays  on  the  avoiding  of  idle  talk,  and  on  the  ap- 
plication to  holy  reading.  These  are  his  chief  topics.  Over  and 
over  again  he  exhorts  his  son  Timothy  to  "  avoid  tattlers  and  busy- 
bodies;  to  give  no  heed  to  novelties;  to  shun  profane  and  vain 
babblings;  but  to  hold  the  form  of  sound  words;  to  be  an  exam- 
ple in  word  and  conversation  ;  to  attend  to  reading,  to  exhorta- 
tion, and  to  doctrine." 




tHE  great  Apostle  Paul,  named  Saul  at  his  circumcision,  was 
born  at  Tarsus,  the  capital  of  Cilicia,  and  was  by  privilege  a 
Roman  citizen,  to  which  quality  a  great  distinction  and  sev- 
eral exemptions  were  granted  by  the  laws  of  the  empire.  He  was 
early  instructed  in  the  strict  observance  of  the  Mosaic  law,  and 
lived  up  to  it  in  the  most  scrupulous  manner.  In  his  zeal  for  the 
Jewish  law,  which  he  thought  the  cause  of  God,  he  became  a  vio- 
lent persecutor  of  the  Christians.  He  was  one  of  those  who  com- 
bined to  murder  St.  Stephen,  and  in  the  violent  persecution  of  the 

faithful,  which  followed  the  martyrdom  of  the  holy  deacon,  Saul 
signalized  himself  above  others.  By  virtue  of  the  power  he  had 
received  from  the  high  priest,  he  dragged  the  Christians  out  of 
their  houses,  loaded  them  with  chains  and  thrust  them  into  prison. 
In  the  fury  of  his  zeal  he  applied  for  a  commission  to  take  up  all 
Jews  at  Damascus  who  confessed  Jesus  Christ,  and  bring  them 
bound  to  Jerusalem,  that  they  might  serve  as  examples  for  the 
others.  But  God  was  pleased  to  show  forth  in  him  His  patience 
and  mercy.  While  on  his  way  to  Damascus,  he  and  his  party  were 
surrounded  by  a  light  from  heaven,  brighter  than  the  sun,  and 
suddenly  struck  to  the  ground.    And  then  a  voice  was  heard  say- 

JANUARY  26.] 



ing,  "  Saul,  Saul,  why  dost  thou  persecute  me  ?"  And  Said  an- 
swered, "  Who  art  thou.  Lord  ?"  and  the  voice  replied,  "  I  am 
Jesus  whom  thou  dost  persecute."  This  mild  expostulation 
of  our  Redeemer,  accompanied  with  a  powerful  interior  grace, 
cured  Saul's  pride,  assuaged  his  rage,  and  wrought  at  once 
a  total  change  in  him.  Wherefore,  trembling  and  astonished, 
he  cried  out,  "  Lord,  what  wilt  Thou  have  me  to  do  ?"  Our 
Lord  ordered  him  to  arise  and  to  proceed  on  his  way  to  the 
city,  where  he  should  be  informed  of  what  was  expected  from  him. 
Saul,  arising  from  the  ground,  found  that  though  his  eyes  were 
open,  he  saw  nothing.  He  was  led  by  hand  into  Damascus,  where 
he  was  lodged  in  the  house  of  a  Jew  named  Judas.  To  this  house 
came  by  divine  appointment  a  holy  man  named  Ananias,  who,  lav- 
ing his  hands  on  Saul,  said,  "  Brother  Saul,  the  Lord  Jesus  who 
appeared  to  thee  on  thy  journey,  hath  sent  me  that  thou  mayest 
receive  thy  sight,  and  be  filled  with  the  Holy  Ghost."  Immedi- 
ately something  like  scales  fell  from  Saul's  eyes,  and  he  recovered 
his  eyesight.  Then  he  arose,  and  was  baptized  ;  he  stayed  some 
few  days  with  the  disciples  at  Damascus,  and  began  immediately 
to  preach  in  the  synagogues  that  Jesus  was  the  Son  of  God. 
Thus  a  blasphemer  and  a  persecutor  was  made  an  apostle,  and 
chosen  as  one  of  God's  principal  instruments  in  the  conversion  of 
the  world. 

Reflection. — Listen  to  thewrordsof  the  "  Imitation  of  Christ," 
and  let  them  sink  into  your  heart :  "  He  who  would  keep  the  grace 
of  God,  let  him  be  grateful  for  grace  when  it  is  given,  and  patient 
when  it  is  taken  away.  Let  him  pray  that  it  may  be  given  back 
to  him,  and  be  careful  and  humble,  lest  he  lose  it." 


T.  POLYCARP,  Bishop  of  Smyrna,  was  a  disciple  of  St. 
John.    He  wrote  to  the  Philippians,  exhorting  them  to  mu- 

tual love  and  to  hatred  of  heresy.  When  the  apostate 
Marcion  met  St.  Polycarp  at  Rome,  he  asked  the  aged  saint  if  he 
knew  him.  "Yes,"  St.  Polycarp  answered,  "  I  know  you  for  the 
firstborn  of  Satan."  These  were  the  words  of  a  saint  most  loving 
and  most  charitable,  and  specially  noted  for  his  compassion  to 
sinners.  He  hated  heresy  because  he  loved  God  and  man 
so  much.  In  167,  persecution  broke  out  in  Smyrna.  When 
Polycarp  heard  that  his  pursuers  were  at  the  door,  he  said, 



[JANUARY  26. 

"The  will  of  God  be  done;"  and  meeting  them,  he  begged 
to  be  left  alone  for  a  little  time,  which  he  spent  in  prayer 
for  "  the  Catholic  Church  throughout  the  world."  He  was 
brought  to  Smyrna  early  on  Holy  Saturday :  and  as  he  en- 
tered, a  voice  was  heard  from  heaven,  "  Polycarp,  be  strong." 
When  the  proconsul  besought  him  to  curse  Christ  and  go  free, 
Polycarp  answered,  "  Eighty-six  years  I  have  served  Him,  and  He 
never  did  me  wrong  ;  how  can  I  blaspheme  my  King  and  Saviour?" 
When  he  threatened  him  with  fire,  Polycarp  told  him  this  fire  of 
his  lasted  but  a  little,  while  the  fire  prepared  for  the  wicked  lasted 

forever.  At  the  stake  he  thanked  God  aloud  for  letting  him 
drink  of  Christ's  chalice.  The  fire  was  lighted,  but  it  did  him  no 
hurt ;  so  he  was  stabbed  to  the  heart,  and  his  dead  body  was  burnt. 
"  Then,"  say  the  writers  of  the  Acts,  "  we  took  up  the  bones,  more 
precious  than  the  richest  jewels  or  gold,  and  deposited  them  in  a 
fitting  place,  at  which  may  God  grant  us  to  assemble  with  joy  to 
celebrate  the  birthday  of  the  martyr  to  his  life  in  heaven  !" 

Reflection.— If  we  love  Jesus  Christ,  we  shall  love  the  Church 
and  hate  heresy,  which  rends  His  mystical  body,  and  destroys  the 
souls  for  which  He  died.  Like  St.  Polycarp,  we  shall  maintain 
our  constancy  in  the  faith  by  love  of  Jesus  Christ,  who  is  its 
author  and  its  finisher. 





T.  JOHN  was  born  at  Antioch,  in  344.    In  order  to  break 

Lth  a  world  which  admired  and  courted  him,  he 


74  re- 

tired for  six  years  to  a  neighboring  mountain.  Having  thus 
acquired  the  art  of  Christian  silence,  he  returned  to  Antioch,  and 
there  labored  as  priest,  until  he  was  ordained  Bishop  of  Constanti- 
nople in  398.  The  effect  of  his  sermons  was  everywhere  marvellous. 
He  was  very  urgent  that  his  people  should  frequent  the  Holy  Sacri- 
fice, and  in  order  to  remove  all  excuse  he  abbreviated  the  long 
Liturgy  until  then  in  use.    St.  Nilus  relates  that  St.  John  Chry- 

sostom  was  wont  to  see,  when  the  priest  began  the  holy  sacrifice, 
"  many  of  the  blessed  ones  coming  down  from  heaven  in  shining 
garments,  and  with  bare  feet,  eyes  intent,  and  bowed  heads,  in 
utter  stillness  and  silence,  assisting  at  the  consummation  of  the 
tremendous  mystery."  Beloved  as  he  was  in  Constantinople,  his 
denunciations  of  vice  made  him  numerous  enemies.  In  403  these 
procured  his  banishment ;  and  although  he  was  almost  immediately 
recalled,  it  was  not  more  than  a  reprieve.  In  404  he  was  banished 
to  Cucusus  in  the  deserts  of  Taurus.  In  407  he  was  wearing  out, 
but  his  enemies  were  impatient.  They  hurried  him  off  to  Pytius 
on  the  Euxine,  a  rough  journey  of  nigh  400  miles.  He  was  assid- 
uously exposed  to  every  hardship,  cold,  wet,  and  semi-starvation, 
but  nothing  could  overcome  his  cheerfulness  and  his  consideration 



[JANUARY  28. 

for  others.  On  the  journey  his  sickness  increased,  and  he  was 
warned  that  his  end  was  nigh.  Thereupon,  exchanging  his  travel- 
stained  clothes  for  white  garments,  he  received  Viaticum,  and 
with  his  customary  words,  "  Glory  be  to  God  for  all  things,  amen," 
passed  to  Christ. 

Reflection. — We  should  try  to  understand  that  the  most  pro- 
ductive work  in  the  whole  day,  both  for  time  and  eternity,  is  that 
involved  in  hearing  Mass.  St.  John  Chrysostom  felt  this  so 
keenly,  that  he  allowed  no  consideration  of  venerable  usage  to 
interfere  with  the  easiness  of  hearing  Mass. 


T.  CYRIL  became  Patriarch  of  Alexandria  in  412.  Having 
at  first  thrown  himself  with  ardor  into  the  party  politics  of 
the  place,  God  called  him  to  a  nobler  conflict.    In  428,  Nes- 
torius,  Bishop  of   Constantinople,  began  to  deny  the  unity  of 

Person  in  Christ,  and  to  refuse  to  the  Blessed  Virgin  the  title  of 
"  Mother  of  God."  He  was  strongly  supported  by  disciples  and 
friends  throughout  the  East.  As  the  assertion  of  the  divine  ma- 
ternity of  our  Lady  was  necessary  to  the  integrity  of  the  doctrine 
of  the  Incarnation,  so,  with  St.  Cyril,  devotion  to  the  Mother  was 

JANUARY  29.] 



the  necessary  complement  of  his  devotion  to  the  Son.  St.  Cyril, 
after  expostulating  in  vain,  accused  Nestorius  to  Pope  Celestine. 
The  Pope  commanded  retraction,  under  pain  of  separation  from 
the  Church,  and  intrusted  St.  Cyril  with  the  conduct  of  the  pro- 
ceedings. The  appointed  day,  June  7,  431,  found  Nestorius 
and  Cyril  at  Ephesus,  with  over  200  Bishops.  After  waiting 
twelve  days  in  vain  for  the  Syrian  Bishops,  the  Council  with  Cyril 
tried  Nestorius,  and  deposed  him  from  his  see.  Upon  this  the 
Syrians  and  Nestorians  excommunicated  St.  Cyril,  and  com- 
plained of  him  to  the  emperor  as  a  peace-breaker.  Imprisoned 
and  threatened  with  banishment,  the  saint  rejoiced  to  confess 
Christ  by  suffering.  In  time  it  was  recognized  that  St.  Cyril  was 
right,  and  with  him  the  Church  triumphed.  Forgetting  his 
wrongs,  and  careless  of  controversial  punctilio,  Cyril  then  recon- 
ciled himself  with  all  who  would  consent  to  hold  the  doctrine  of 
the  Incarnation  intact.    He  died  in  444. 

Reflection. — The  Incarnation  is  the  mystery  of  God's  dwell- 
ing within  us,  and  therefore  should  be  the  dearest  object  of  our 
contemplation.  It  was  the  passion  of  St.  Cyril's  life  :  for  it  he 
underwent  toil  and  persecution,  and  willingly  sacrificed  credit  and 


^I^RANCIS  was  born  of  noble  and  pious  parents,  near  An- 
necy,  a.d.  1567,  and  studied  with  brilliant  success  at  Paris 
and  Padua.  On  his  return  from  Italy  he  gave  up  the  grand 
career  which  his  father  had  marked  out  for  him  in  the  service 
of  the  State,  and  became  a  priest.  When  the  Duke  of  Savoy 
had  resolved  to  restore  the  Church  in  the  Chablais,  Francis  offered 
himself  for  the  work,  and  set  out  on  foot  with  his  Bible  and  bre- 
viary and  one  companion,  his  cousin  Louis  of  Sales.  It  was  a 
work  of  toil,  privation,  and  danger.  Every  door  and  every  heart 
were  closed  against  him.  He  was  rejected  with  insult  and  threat- 
ened with  death.  But  nothing  could  daunt  or  resist  him,  and  ere 
long  the  Church  burst  forth  into  a  second  spring.  It  is  stated 
that  he  converted  72,000  Calvinists.  He  was  then  compelled  by 
the  Pope  to  become  Coadjutor  Bishop  of  Geneva,  and  succeeded 
to  the  see  a.d.  1602.  At  times  the  exceeding  gentleness  with 
which  he  received  heretics  and  sinners  almost  scandalized  his 
friends,  and  one  of  them  said  to  him,  "  Francis  of  Sales  will 
go  to  Paradise,  of  course ;  but  I  am  not  so  sure  of  the  Bishop 
of  Geneva :    I  am  almost  afraid  his  gentleness  will  play  him 



[JANUARY  30. 

a  shrewd  turn."  "Ah,"  said  the  saint,  "  I  would  rather  account 
to  God  for  too  great  gentleness  than  for  too  great  severity. 
Is  not  God  all  love  ?  God  the  Father  is  the  Father  of  mercy ; 
God  the  Son  is  a  Lamb ;  God  the  Holy  Ghost  is  a  Dove,  that  is, 
gentleness  itself.  And  are  you  wiser  than  God?"  In  union  with 
St.  Jane  Frances  of  Chantal  he  founded  at  Annecy  the  Order  of 
the  Visitation,  which  soon  spread  over  Europe.  Though  poor,  he 
refused  provisions  and  dignities,  and  even  the  great  see  of  Paris. 
He  died  at  Avignon,  a.d.  1622. 

Reflection. — "You  will  catch  more  flies,"  St.  Francis  used 
to  say,  "  with  a  spoonful  of  honey  than  with  a  hundred  barrels  of 
vinegar.  Were  there  any  thing  better  or  fairer  on  earth  than 
gentleness,  Jesus  Christ  would  have  taught  it  us  ;  and  yet  he  has 
given  us  only  two  lessons  to  learn  of  him — meekness  and  humility 
of  heart." 


T.  BATHILDES  was  an  Englishwoman,  who  was  carried 
over  whilst  yet  young  into  France,  and  there  sold  for  a 
slave,  at  a  very  low  price,  to  Erkenwald,  mayor  of  the 
palace  under  King  Clovis  II.  When  she  grew  up,  her  master  was 
so  much  taken  with  her  prudence  and  virtue,  that  he  placed  her 
in  charge  of  his  household.    The  renown  of  her  virtues  spread 



through  all  France,  and  King  Clovis  II.  took  her  for  his  royal 
consort.  This  unexpected  elevation  produced  no  alteration  in  a 
heart  perfectly  grounded  in  humility  and  the  other  virtues ;  she 
seemed  to  become  even  more  humble  than  before.  Her  new  sta- 
tion furnished  her  the  means  of  being  truly  a  mother  to  the  poor; 
the  king  gave  her  the  sanction  of  his  royal  authority  for  the  pro- 
tection of  the  Church,  the  care  of  the  poor,  and  the  furtherance 
of  all  religious  undertakings.  The  death  of  her  husband  left  her 
regent  of  the  kingdom.  She  at  once  forbade  the  enslavement  of 
Christians,  did  all  in  her  power  to  promote  piety,  and  filled  France 
with  hospitals  and  religious  houses.  As  soon  as  her  son  Clotaire 
was  of  an  age  to  govern,  she  withdrew  from  the  world  and  enter- 
ed the  convent  of  Chelles.  Here  she  seemed  entirely  to  forget  her 
worldly  dignity,  and  was  to  be  distinguished  from  the  rest  of  the 
community  only  by  her  extreme  humility,  her  obedience  to  her 
spiritual  superiors,  and  her  devotion  to  the  sick,  whom  she  comfort- 
ed and  served  with  wonderful  charity.  As  she  neared  her  end, 
God  visited  her  with  a  severe  illness,  which  she  bore  with  Chris- 
tian patience  until,  on  the  30th  of  January,  680,  she  yielded  up  her 
soul  in  devout  prayer. 

Reflection. — In  all  that  we  do,  let  God  and  his  holy  will  be 
always  before  our  eyes,  and  our  only  aim  and  desire  be  to  please 



[JANUARY  31. 


^^T.  MARCELLA,  whom  St.  Jerome  called  the  glory  of  the 
wS)  Roman  women,  became  a  widow  in  the  seventh  month  af- 
ter her  marriage.  Having  determined  to  consecrate  the  re- 
mainder of  her  days  to  the  service  of  God,  she  rejected  the  hand 
of  Cerealis,  the  consul,  uncle  of  Gallus  Caesar,  and  resolved  to 
imitate  the  lives  of  the  ascetics  of  the  East.  She  abstained  from 
wine  and  flesh-meat,  employed  all  her  time  in  pious  reading,  pray- 
er, and  visiting  the  churches,  and  never  spoke  with  any  man  alone. 
Her  example  was  followed  by  many  who  put  themselves  under  her 

direction,  and  Rome  was  in  a  short  time  filled  with  monasteries. 
When  the  Goths  under  Alaric  plundered  Rome  in  410,  our  Saint 
suffered  severely  at  the  hands  of  the  barbarian,  who  cruelly 
scourged  her  in  order  to  make  her  reveal  the  treasures  which 
she  had  long  before  distributed  in  charity.  She  trembled  only 
however  for  the  innocence  of  her  dear  spiritual  daughter,  Princi- 
pia,  and  falling  at  the  feet  of  the  cruel  soldiers,  she  begged  with 
many  tears,  that  they  would  offer  no  insult  to  that  pure  virgin. 
God  moved  them  to  compassion,  and  they  conducted  our  Saint  and 
her  pupil  to  the  church  of  St.  Paul,  to  which  Alaric  had  granted 
the  right  of  sanctuary,  with  that  of  St  Peter.  St.  Marcella,  who 
survived  this  but  a  short  time,  closed  her  eyes  by  a  happy  death,  in 
the  arms  of  St.  Principia,  about  the  end  of  August,  410. 

February  i.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 




EXT  to  the  glorious  St.  Patrick,  St.  Bridgid,  whom  we  may 

consider  his  spiritual  daughter  in  Christ,  has  ever  been  held 

in  singular  veneration  in  Ireland.  She  was  born  about  the 
year  453,  at  Fochard  in  Ulster.  During  her  infancy,  her  pious 
father  saw  in  a  vision  men  clothed  in  white  garments  pouring  a 
sacred  unguent  on  her  head,  thus  prefiguring  her  future  sanctity. 
While  yet  very  young,  Bridgid  consecrated  her  life  to  God,  be- 
stowed every  thing  at  her  disposal  on  the  poor,  and  was  the  edifi- 

cation of  all  who  knew  her.  She  was  very  beautiful,  and  fearing 
that  efforts  might  be  made  to  induce  her  to  break  the  vow  by 
which  she  bound  herself  to  God,  and  to  bestow  her  hand  on  one 
of  her  many  suitors,  she  prayed  that  she  might  become  ugly  and 
deformed.  Her  prayer  was  heard,  for  her  eye  became  swollen, 
and  her  whole  countenance  so  changed  that  she  was  allowed  to 
follow  her  vocation  in  peace,  and  marriage  with  her  was  no  more 
thought  of.  When  about  twenty  years  old,  our  Saint  made  known 
to  Saint  Mel,  the  nephew  and  disciple  of  St.  Patrick,  her  intention 
to  live  only  to  Jesus  Christ,  and  he  consented  to  receive  her  sacred 
vows.  On  the  appointed  day  the  solemn  ceremony  of  her  profes- 
sion was  performed  after  the  manner  introduced  by  St.  Patrick, 



the  bishop  offering  up  many  prayers,  and  investing  Bridgid 
with  a  snow-white  habit,  and  a  cloak  of  the  same  color.  While 
she  bowed  her  head  on  this  occasion  to  receive  the  veil,  a  miracle 
^<pf  a  singularly  striking  and  impressive  nature  occurred  ;  that  part 
of  the  wooden  platform  adjoining  the  altar  on  which  she  knelt  re- 
covered its  original  vitality,  and  put  on  all  its  former  verdure,  re- 
taining it  for  a  long  time  after.  At  the  same  moment  Bridgids' 
eye  was  healed,  and  she  became  as  beautiful  and  as  lovely  as  ever. 

Encouraged  by  her  example,  several  other  ladies  made  their 
vows  with  her,  and  in  compliance  with  the  wish  of  the  parents  of 
her  new  associates,  the  Saint  agreed  to  found  a  religious  residence 
for  herself  and  them  in  the  vicinity.  A  convenient  site  having 
been  fixed  upon  by  the  bishop,  a  convent,  the  first  in  Ireland,  was 
erected  upon  it ;  and  in  obedience  to  the  prelate  Bridgid  assumed 
the  superiority.  Her  reputation  for  sanctity  became  greater  every 
day  ;  and  in  proportion  as  it  was  diffused  throughout  the  country 
the  number  of  candidates  for  admission  into  the  new  monastery  in- 
creased. The  bishops  of  Ireland,  soon  perceiving  the  important 
advantages  which  their  respective  dioceses  would  derive  from 
similar  foundations,  persuaded  the- young  and  saintly  abbess  to 
visit  different  parts  of  the  kingdom,  and,  as  an  opportunity  offered, 
introduce  into  each  one  the  establishment  of  her  institute. 

While  thus  engaged  in  a  portion  of  the  province  of  Connaught, 
a  deputation  arrived  from  Leinster  to  solicit  the  Saint  to  take  up 
her  residence  in  that  territory;  but  the  motives  which  they  urged 
were  human,  and  such  could  have  no  weight  with  Bridgid.  It 
was  only  the  prospect  of  the  many  spiritual  advantages  that 
would  result  from  compliance  with  the  request  that  induced  her  to 
accede,  as  she  did,  to  the  wishes  of  those  who  had  petitioned  her. 
Taking  with  her  a  number  of  her  spiritual  daughters,  our  Saint 
journeyed  to  Leinster,  where  they  were  received  with  many  de- 
monstrations of  respect  and  joy.  The  site  on  which  Kildare  now 
stands  appearing  to  be  well  adapted  for  a  religious  institute,  there 
the  Saint  and  her  companions  took  up  their  abode.  To  the  place 
appropriated  for  the  new  foundation  some  lands  were  annexed, 
the  fruits  of  which  were  assigned  to  the  little  establishment.  This 
donation  indeed  contributed  to  supply  the  wants  of  the  commu- 
nity, but  still  the  pious  sisterhood  principally  depended  for  their 
maintenance  on  the  liberality  of  their  benefactors.  Bridgid  con- 
trived, however,  out  of  their  small  means  to  relieve  the  poor  of  the 
vicinity  very  considerably ;  and  when  the  wants  of  these  indigent 
persons  surpassed  her  slender  finances,  she  hesitated  not  to  sacri- 

February  I.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


fice  for  them  the  movables  of  the  convent.  On  one  occasion  our 
Saint,  imitating  the  burning  charity  of  St.  Ambrose  and  other  great 
servants  of  God,  sold  some  of  the  sacred  vestments  that  she  might 
procure  the  means  of  relieving  their  necessities.  She  was  so  hum- 
ble that  she  sometimes  attended  the  cattle  on  the  land  which  be- 
longed to  her  monastery. 

The  renown  of  Bridgid's  unbounded  charity  drew  multitudes 
-of  the  poor  to  Kildare ;  the  fame  of  her  piety  attracted  thither 
many  persons  anxious  to  solicit  her  prayers  or  to  profit  by  her 
holy  example.  In  course  of  time  the  number  of  these  so  much 
increased  that  it  became  necessary  to  provide  accommodation  for 
them  in  the  neighborhood  of  the  new  monastery,  and  thus  was 
laid  the  foundation  and  origin  of  the  town  of  Kildare. 

The  spiritual  exigencies  of  her  community,  and  of  those  nu- 
merous strangers  who  resorted  to  the  vicinity,  having  suggested  to 
our  Saint  the  expediency  of  having  the  locality  erected  into  an 
episcopal  see,  she  represented  it  to  the  prelates,  to  whom  the  con- 
sideration of  it  rightly  belonged.  Deeming  the  proposal  just  and 
useful,  Conlath,  a  recluse  of  eminent  sanctity,  illustrious  by  the 
great  things  Avhich  God  had  granted  to  his  prayers,  was,  at  Brid- 
gid's desire,  chosen  the  first  bishop  of  the  newly  erected  diocese. 
In  process  of  time  it  became  the  ecclesiastical  metropolis  of  the 
province  to  which  it  belonged,  probably  in  consequence  of  the 
general  desire  to  honor  the  place  in  which  St.  Bridgid  had  so 
long  dwelt. 

After  seventy  years  devoted  to  the  practice  of  the  most  sublime 
virtues,  corporal  infirmities  admonished  our  Saint  that  the  time  of 
her  dissolution  was  nigh.  It  was  now  half  a  century  since,  by  her 
holy  vows,  she  had  irrevocably  consecrated  herself  to  God,  and 
during  that  period  great  results  had  been  attained  ;  her  holy  insti- 
tute having  widely  diffused  itself  throughout  the  Green  Isle,  and 
greatly  advanced  the  cause  of  religion  in  the  various  districts  in 
which  it  was  established.  Like  a  river  of  peace,  its  progress  was 
steady  and  silent ;  it  fertilized  every  region  fortunate  enough  to 
receive  its  waters,  and  caused  them  to  put  forth  spiritual  flowers 
and  fruits  with  all  the  sweet  perfume  of  evangelical  fragrance. 
The  remembrance  of  the  glory  she  had  procured  to  the  Most  High, 
as  well  as  the  services  rendered  to  dear  souls  ransomed  by  the 
precious  Blood  of  her  divine  Spouse,  cheered  and  consoled  Brid- 
gid in  the  infirmities  inseparable  from  old  age.  Her  last  illness 
was  soothed  by  the  presence  of  Nennidh,  a  priest  of  eminent  sanc- 
tity, over  whose  youth  she  had  watched  with  pious  solicitude,  and 



[February  I. 

who  was  indebted  to  her  prayers  and  instructions  for  his  great 
proficiency  in  sublime  perfection.  The  day  on  which  our  abbess 
was  to  terminate  her  course,  February  ist,  523,  having  arrived, 
she  received  from  the  hands  of  this  saintly  priest  the  blessed  Body 
and  Blood  of  her  Lord  in  the  divine  Eucharist,  and,  as  it  would 
seem,  immediately  after  her  spirit  passed  forth,  and  went  to  pos- 
sess Him  in  that  heavenly  country  where  He  is  seen  face  to  face  and 
enjoyed  without  danger  of  ever  losing  Him.  Her  body  was  in- 
terred in  the  church  adjoining  her  convent,  but  was  some  time 
after  exhumed,  and  deposited  in  a  splendid  shrine  near  the  high 

In  the  ninth  century,  the  country  being  desolated  by  the  Danes, 
the  remains  of  St.  Bridgid  were  removed  in  order  to  secure  them 
from  irreverence;  and,  being  transferred  to  Down-Patrick,  were 
deposited  in  the  same  grave  with  those  of  the  glorious  St.  Patrick. 
Their  bodies,  together  with  that  of  St.  Columba,  were  translated 
afterwards  to  the  cathedral  of  the  same  city,  but  their  monument 
was  destroyed  in  the  reign  of  King  Henry  VIII.  The  head  of 
St.  Bridgid  is  now  kept  in  the  church  of  the  Jesuits  at  Lisbon. 

Reflection. — Outward  resemblance  to  our  Lady  was  St.  Brid- 
gid's  peculiar  privilege;  but  all  are  bound  to  grow  like  her  in  in- 
terior purity  of  heart.  This  grace  St.  Bridgid  has  obtained  in  a 
wonderful  degree  for  the  daughters  of  her  native  land,  and  will 
never  fail  to  procure  for  all  her  devout  clients. 


T.  IGNATIUS,  Bishop  of  Antioch,  was  the  disciple  of  St. 
John.  When  Domitian  persecuted  the  Church,  St.  Ignatius 
obtained  peace  for  his  own  flock  by  fasting  and  prayer.  But 
for  his  part  he  desired  to  sutler  with  Christ,  and  to  prove  himself 
a  perfect  disciple.  In  the  year  107,  Trajan  came  to  Antioch,  and 
forced  the  Christians  to  choose  between  apostasy  and  death. 
"  Who  art  thou,  poor  devil,"  the  emperor  said,  when  Ignatius  was 
brought  before  him,  "who  settest  our  commands  at  naught?" 
"  Call  not  him  'poor  devil,'  "  Ignatius  answered,  "  who  bears  God 
within  him."  And  when  the  emperor  questioned  him  about  his 
meaning,  Ignatius  explained  that  he  bore  in  his  heart  Christ  cru- 
cified for  his  sake.  Thereupon  the  emperor  condemned  him  to  be 
torn  to  pieces  by  wild  beasts  at  Rome.  St.  Ignatius  thanked  God, 
who  had  so  honored  him,  "binding  him  in  the  chains  of  Paul,  His 

[February  2. 



He  journeyed  to  Rome,  guarded  by  soldiers,  and  with  no  fear, 
except  of  losing  the  martyr's  crown.  He  was  devoured  by  lions 
in  the  Roman  amphitheatre.  The  wild  beasts  left  nothing  of  his 
body,  except  a  few  bones,  which  were  reverently  treasured  at  An- 
tioch,  until  their  removal  to  the  Church  of  St.  Clement,  at  Rome, 
in  637.    After  the  martyr's  death,  several  Christians  saw  him  in 

vision  standing  before  Christ,  and  interceding  for  them. 


Reflection. — Ask  St.  Ignatius  to  obtain  for  you  the  grace  of 
profiting  by  all  you  have  to  suffer,  and  rejoicing  in  it  as  a  means 
of  likeness  to  your  crucified  Redeemer. 


HE  law  of  God,  given  by  Moses  to  the  Jews,  ordained  that 
a  woman,  after  child-birth,  should  continue  for  a  certain 
time  in  a  state  which  that  law  calls  unclean,  during  which 
she  was  not  to  appear  in  public,  nor  presume  to  touch  any  thing 
consecrated  to  God.  This  term  was  of  forty  days  upon  the  birth 
of  a  son,  and  double  that  time  for  a  daughter.  On  the  expiration 
of  the  term,  the  mother  was  to  bring  to  the  door  of  the  tabernacle, 
or  temple,  a  lamb  and  a  young  pigeon,  or  turtle-dove,  as  an  offer- 
ing to  God.     These  being  sacrificed  to  Almighty  God  by  the 


LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [February  2_ 

priest,  the  woman  was  cleansed  of  the  legal  impurity  and  rein- 
stated in  her  former  privileges. 

A  young  pigeon,  or  turtle-dove,  by  way  of  a  sin-offering,  was 
required  of  all,  whether  rich  or  poor;  but  as  the  expense  of  a 
lamb  might  be  too  great  for  persons  in  poor  circumstances,  they 
were  allowed  to  substitute  for  it  a  second  dove. 

Our  Saviour  having  been  conceived  by  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  His 
blessed  Mother  remaining  always  a  spotless  virgin,  it  is  evident 
that  she  did  not  come  under  the  law ;  but  as  the  world  was,  as 
yet,  ignorant  of  her  miraculous  conception,  she  submitted  with 

great  punctuality  and  exactness  to  every  humbling  circumstance 
which  the  law  required.  Devotion  and  zeal  to  honor  God  by 
every  observance  prescribed  by  His  law,  prompted  Mary  to  per- 
form this  act  of  religion,  though  evidently  exempt  from  the  pre- 
cept. Being  poor  herself,  she  made  the  offering  appointed  for 
the  poor;  but,  however  mean  in  itself,  it  was  made  with  a  perfect 
heart,  which  is  what  God  chiefly  regards  in  all  that  is  offered  to 
Him.  Besides  the  law  which  obliged  the  mother  to  purify  herself, 
there  was  another  which  ordered  that  the  first-born  son  should  be 
offered  to  God,  and  that,  after  its  presentation,  the  child  should  be 
ransomed  with  a  certain  sum  of  money,  and  peculiar  sacrifices 
offered  on  the  occasion. 

February  2.] 



Mary  complies  exactly  with  all  these  ordinances.  She  obeys 
not  only  in  the  essential  points  of  the  law,  but  has  strict  regard  to 
all  the  circumstances.  She  remains  forty  days  at  home ;  she  de- 
nies herself,  all  this  time,  the  liberty  of  entering  the  temple ;  she 
partakes  not  of  things  sacred ;  and  on  the  day  of  her  purification 
she  walks  several  miles  to  Jerusalem,  with  the  world's  Redeemer 
in  her  arms.  She  waits  for  the  priest  at  the  gate  of  the  temple, 
makes  her  offerings  of  thanksgiving  and  expiation,  presents  her 
Divine  Son  by  the  hands  of  the  priest  to  his  eternal  Father,  with 
the  most  profound  humility,  adoration,  and  thanksgiving.  She 
then  redeems  Him  with  five  shekels,  as  the  law  appoints,  and  re- 
ceives Him  back  again  as  a  sacred  charge  committed  to  her  special 
care,  till  the  Father  shall  again  demand  Him  for  the  full  accom- 
plishment of  man's  redemption. 

The  ceremony  of  this  day  was  closed  by  a  third  mystery — the 
meeting  in  the  temple  of  the  holy  persons,  Simeon  and  Anne,  with 
Jesus  and  his  parents.  Holy  Simeon,  on  that  occasion,  received 
into  his  arms  the  object  of  all  his  desires  and  sighs,  and  praised 
God  for  being  blessed  with  the  happiness  of  beholding  the  so- 
much-longed-for  Messias.  He  foretold  to  Mary  her  martyrdom  of 
sorrow,  and  that  Jesus  brought  redemption  to  those  who  would 
accept  of  it  on  the  terms  it  was  offered  them ;  but  a  heavy  judg- 
ment on  all  infidels  who  should  obstinately  reject  it,  and  on  Chris- 
tians, also,  whose  lives  were  a  contradiction  to  his  holy  maxims 
and  example.  Mary,  hearing  this  terrible  prediction,  did  not 
answer  one  word,  felt  no  agitation  of  mind  from  the  present,  no 
dread  for  the  future  ;  but  courageously  and  sweetly  committed  all 
to  God's  holy  will.  Anne,  also,  the  prophetess,  who  in  her  widow- 
hood served  God  with  great  fervor,  had  the  happiness  to  acknowl- 
edge and  adore  in  this  great  mystery  the  Redeemer  of  the  world. 
Simeon,  having  beheld  our  Saviour,  exclaimed :  "  Now  dismiss 
thy  servant,  O  Lord,  according  to  thy  word,  because  my  eyes  have 
seen  thy  salvation." 

This  feast  is  called  Candlemas,  because  the  Church  blesses  the 
candles  to  be  borne  in  the  procession  of  the  day. 

Reflection. — Let  us  strive  to  imitate  the  humility  of  the  ever- 
blessed  Mother  of  God,  remembering  that  humility  is  the  path 
which  leads  to  abiding  peace,  and  brings  us  near  to  the  consola- 
tions of  God. 



[February  3. 


fT.  BLASE  devoted  the  earlier  years  of  his  life  to  the  study  of 
philosophy,  and  afterwards  became  a  physician.  In  the 
practice  of  his  profession  he  saw  so  much  of  the  miseries  of 
life  and  the  hollowness  of  worldly  pleasures,  that  he  resolved  to 
spend  the  rest  of  his  days  in  the  service  of  God,  and  from  being  a 
healer  of  bodily  ailments  to  become  a  physician  of  souls.  The 
bishop  of  Sebaste,  in  Arminia,  having  died,  our  Saint,  much  to  the 
gratification  of  the  inhabitants  of  that  city,  was  appointed  to  suc- 
ceed him.    St.  Blase  at  once  began  to  instruct  his  people  as  much 

by  his  example  as  by  his  words,  and  the  great  virtues  and  sanctity 
of  this  servant  of  God  was  attested  by  many  miracles.  From  all 
parts  the  people  came  flocking  to  him  for  the  cure  of  bodily  and 
spiritual  ills.  Agricolaus,  Governor  of  Cappadocia  and  the  lesser 
Armenia,  having  begun  a  persecution  by  order  of  the  Emperor 
Licinius,  our  Saint  was  seized  and  hurried  off  to  prison.  Whilst 
on  his  way  there,  a  distracted  mother,  whose  only  child  was  dying 
of  a  throat  disease,  threw  herself  at  the  feet  of  St.  Blase  and 
implored  his  intercession.  Touched  at  her  grief,  the  Saint  offered 
up  his  prayers,  and  the  child  was  cured ;  and  since  that  time  his  aid 
has  often  been  effectuallv  solicited  in  cases  of  a  similar  disease. 
Refusing  to  worship  the  false  gods  of  the  heathens,  St.  Blase  was 

February  4.] 



first  scourged ;  his  body  was  then  torn  with  hooks,  and  finally  he 
was  beheaded  in  the  year  316. 

Reflection. — There  is  no  sacrifice  which,  by  the  aid  of  grace, 
human  nature  is  not  capable  of  accomplishing.  When  St.  Paul 
complained  to  God  of  the  violence  of  the  temptation,  God 
answered,  "  My  grace  is  sufficient  for  thee,  for  power  is  made  per- 
fect in  infirmity." 


ORN  of  the  blood  royal  of  France,  herself  a  queen,  Jane  of 
Valois  led  a  life  remarkable  for  its  humiliations  even  in 
the  annals  of  the  Saints.  Her  father,  Louis  XI.,  who  had 
hoped  for  a  son  to  succeed  him,  banished  Jane  from  his  palace, 
and,  it  is  said,  even  attempted  her  life  At  the  age  of  five  the 
neglected  child  offered  her  whole  heart  to  God,  and  yearned  to 
do  some  special  service  in  honor  of  His  Blessed  Mother.  At  the 
king's  wish,  though  against  her  own  inclination,  she  was  married 
to  the  Duke  of  Orleans.  Towards  an  indifferent  and  unworthy 
husband  her  conduct  was  ever  most  patient  and  dutiful.  Her 
prayers  and  tears  saved  him  from  a  traitor's  death,  and  shortened 
the  captivity  which  his  rebellion  had  merited.  Still  nothing  could 
win  a  heart  which  was  already  given  to  another.  When  her 
husband  ascended  the  throne  as  Louis  XII.,  his  first  act  was  to 
repudiate  by  false  representations  one  who  through  twenty-two 
years  of  cruel  neglect  had  been  his  true  and  loyal  wife.  At 
the  final  sentence  of  separation,  the  saintly  queen  exclaimed, 
"  God  be  praised  who  has  allowed  this,  that  I  may  serve  Him 
better  than  I  have  heretofore  done."  Retiring  to  Bourges,  she 
there  realized  her  long-formed  desire  by  founding  the  Order  of 
the  Annunciation,  in  honor  of  the  Mother  of  God. 

Under  the  guidance  of  St.  Francis  of  Paula,  the  director  of 
her  childhood,  St.  Jane  was  enabled  to  overcome  the  serious 
obstacles  which  even  good  people  raised  against  the  foundation  of 
her  new  Order.  In  1501  the  rule  of  the  Annunciation  was  finally 
approved  by  Alexander  VI.  The  chief  aim  of  the  Institute  was  to 
imitate  the  ten  virtues  practised  by  our  Lady  in  the  Mystery  of  the 
Incarnation,  the  superioress  being  called  "  Ancelle,"  handmaid, 
in  honor  of  Mary's  humility.  St.  Jane  built  and  endowed  the  first 
convent  of  the  Order  in  1502.  She  died  in  heroic  sanctity, 
a.d.  1505,  and  was  buried  in  the  royal  crown  and  purple,  beneath 
which  lay  the  habit  of  her  Order. 



[February  tj. 

Reflection. — During  the  lifetime  of  St.  Jane,  the  Angelus  was 
established  in  France.  The  sound  of  the  Ave  thrice  each  day 
gave  her  hope  in  her  sorrow,  and  fostered  in  her  the  desire  still 
further  to  honor  the  Incarnation.  How  often  might  we  derive 
grace  from  the  same  beautiful  devotion,  so  enriched  by  the  Church 
yet  neglected  by  so  many  Christians ! 


T.  AGATHA  was  born  in  Sicily,  of  rich  and  noble  parents — 
a  child  of  benediction  from  the  first,  for  she  was  promised 
to  her  parents  before  her  birth,  and  consecrated  from  her 
earliest  infancy  to  God.  In  the  midst  of  dangers  and  temptations 
she  served  Christ  in  purity  of  body  and  soul,  and  she  died  for  the 
love  of  chastity.  Quintanus,  who  governed  Sicily  under  the  Em- 
peror Decius,  had  heard  the  rumor  of  her  beauty  and  wealth,  and 
he  made  the  laws  against  the  Christians  a  pretext  for  summoning 
her  from  Palermo  to  Catania,  where  he  was  at  the  time.  "  O 
Jesus  Christ !"  she  cried,  as  she  set  out  on  this  dreaded  journey, 
"  all  that  I  am  is  thine ;  preserve  me  against  the  tyrant." 

And  our  Lord  did  indeed  preserve  one  who  had  given  herself  so 
utterly  to  Him.  He  kept  her  pure  and  undefiled,  while  she  was 
imprisoned  for  a  whole  month  under  charge  of  an  evil  woman. 
He  gave  her  strength  to  reply  to  the  offer  of  her  life  and  safety,  if 

February  5.] 



she  would  but  consent  to  sin,  "  Christ  alone  is  my  life  and  my  sal- 
vation." When  Quintanus  turned  from  passion  to  cruelty,  and 
cut  off  her  breasts,  Our  Lord  sent  the  Prince  of  His  Apostles  to 
heal  her.  And  when,  after  she  had  been  rolled  naked  upon  pot- 
sherds, she  asked  that  her  torments  might  be  ended,  her  Spouse 
heard  her  prayer,  and  took  her  to  Himself. 

St.  Agatha  gave  herself  without  reserve  to  Jesus  Christ ;  she 
followed  Him  in  virginal  purity,  and  then  looked  to  Him  for  pro- 
tection. And  down  to  this  day  Christ  has  shown  His  tender  re- 
gard for  the  very  body  of  St.  Agatha.  Again  and  again,  during 
the  eruption  of  Mount  Etna,  the  people  of  Catania  have  exposed 
her  veil  for  public  veneration,  and  found  safety  by  this  means; 
and  in  modern  times,  on  opening  the  tomb  in  which  her  body  lies 
waiting  for  the  resurrection,  they  beheld  the  skin  still  entire,  and 
felt  the  sweet  fragrance  which  issued  from  this  temple  of  the  Holy 

Reflection. — Purity  is  a  gift  of  God  :  we  can  gain  it  and  pre- 
serve it  only  by  care  and  diligence  in  avoiding  all  that  may  prove 
an  incentive  to  sin. 


BOUT  forty  years  after  St.  Francis  Xavier's  death,  a  perse- 
cution broke  out  in  Japan,  and  all  Christian  rites  were 
forbidden  under  pain  of  death.  A  confraternity  of  martyrs 
was  at  once  formed,  the  object  of  which  was  to  die  for  Christ. 
Even  the  little  children  joined  it.  Peter,  a  Christian  child  six 
years  old,  was  awakened  early,  and  told  that  he  was  to  be  behead- 
ed, together  with  his  father.  Strong  in  grace,  he  expressed  his  joy 
at  the  news,  dressed  himself  in  his  gayest  clothing,  and  took  the 
hand  of  the  soldier  who  was  to  lead  him  to  death.  The  headless 
trunk  of  his  father  first  met  his  view ;  calmly  kneeling  down,  he 
prayed  beside  the  corpse,  and,  loosening  his  collar,  prepared  his 
neck  for  the  stroke.  Moved  by  this  touching  scene,  the  execu- 
tioner threw  down  his  sabre  and  fled.  None  but  a  brutal  slave 
could  be  found  for  the  murderous  task  ;  with  unskilled  and  trem- 
bling hand  he  hacked  the  child  to  pieces,  who  at  last  died  without 
uttering  a  single  cry.  Christians  were  branded  with  the  cross,  or 
all  but  buried  alive,  while  the  head  and  arms  were  slowly  sawn 
off  with  blunt  weapons.  The  least  shudder  under  their  anguish 
was  interpreted  into  apostasy.  The  obstinate  were  put  to  the 
most  cruel  deaths,  but  the  survivors  only  envied  them.  Five 



[February  6. 

noblemen  were  escorted  to  the  stake  by  40,000  Christians  with 
flowers  and  lights,  singing  the  Litanies  of  our  Lady  as  they  went. 
In  the  great  martyrdom,  at  which  thousands  also  assisted,  the  mar- 
tyrs sent  up  a  flood  of  melody  from  the  fire,  which  only  died  away 
as  one  after  another  went  to  sing  the  new  song  in  heaven.  Later 
on,  a  more  awful  doom  was  invented.  The  victims  were  lowered 
into  a  sulphurous  chasm,  called  the  "  mouth  of  hell,"  near  which 
no  bird  or  beast  could  live.  The  chief  of  these,  Paul  Wiborg, 
whose  family  had  been  already  massacred  for  the  Faith,  was  thrice 

let  down  ;  thrice  he  cried  with  a  loud  voice,  "  Eternal  praise  be  to 
the  ever-adorable  Sacrament  of  the  Altar."  The  third  time  he 
went  to  his  reward. 

Reflection. — If  mere  children  face  torture  and  death  with  joy 
for  Christ,  can  we  begrudge  the  slight  penance  He  asks  us  to  bear  ? 


T.  DOROTHY  was  a  young  virgin,  celebrated  at  Csesarea, 
where  she  lived,  for  her  angelic  virtue.  Her  parents  seem 
to  have  been  martyred  before  her  in  the  Diocletian  persecu- 
tion, and  when  the  Governor  Sapricius  came  to  Caesarea,  he  called 
her  before  him,  and  sent  this  child  of  martyrs  to  the  home  where 
they  were  waiting  for  her. 

February  6.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


She  was  stretched  upon  the  rack,  and  offered  marriage  if  she 
would  consent  to  sacrifice,  or  death  if  she  refused.  But  she 
replied,  that  "Christ  was  her  only  Spouse,  and  death  her  desire." 
She  was  then  placed  in  charge  of  two  women  who  had  fallen 
away  from  the  Faith,  in  the  hope  that  they  might  pervert  her ;  but 
the  fire  of  her  own  heart  rekindled  the  flame  in  theirs,  and  led 
them  back  to  Christ.  When  she  was  set  once  more  on  the  rack, 
Sapricius  himself  was  amazed  at  the  heavenly  look  she  wore,  and 

asked  her  the  cause  of  her  joy.  "Because,"  she  said,  "I  have 
brought  back  two  souls  to  Christ,  and  because  I  shall  soon  be  in 
heaven  rejoicing  with  the  angels."  Her  joy  grew  as  she  was  buf- 
feted in  the  face,  and  her  sides  burnt  with  plates  of  red-hot  iron. 
"  Blessed  be  Thou,"  she  cried,  when  she  was  sentenced  to  be  be- 
headed,— "blessed  be  Thou,  O  Thou  Lover  of  souls!  who  dost 
call  me  to  Paradise,  and  invitest  me  to  Thy  nuptial  chamber." 

St.  Dorothy  suffered  in  the  dead  of  winter,  and  it  is  said  that 
on  the  road  to  her  passion  a  lawyer  called  Theophilus,  who  had 
been  used  to  calumniate  and  persecute  the  Christians,  asked  her, 
in  mockery,  to  send  him  "  apples  or  roses  from  the  garden  of  her 
Spouse."  The  Saint  promised  to  grant  his  request,  and,  just  before 
she  died,  a  little  child  stood  by  her  side  bearing  three  apples  and 
three  roses.  She  bade  him  take  them  to  Theophilus,  and  tell  him 
this  was  the  present  which  he  sought  from  the  garden  of  her 



[February  7. 

Spouse.  St.  Dorothy  had  gone  to  heaven,  and  Theophilus  was 
still  making  merry  over  his  challenge  to  the  Saint,  when  the  child 
entered  his  room.  He  saw  that  the  child  was  an  angel  in  disguise, 
and  the  fruit  and  flowers  of  no  earthly  growth.  He  was  converted 
to  the  faith,  and  then  shared  in  the  martyrdom  of  St.  Dorothy. 

Reflection. — Do  you  wish  to  be  safe  in  the  pleasures  and 
happy  in  the  troubles  of  the  world  ?  Pray  for  heavenly  desires, 
and  say  with  St.  Philip,  "  Paradise,  Paradise!" 


N  976,  Sergius,  a  nobleman  of  Ravenna,  quarrelled  with  a  rela- 
JJl  tion  about  an  estate,  and  slew  him  in  a  duel.  His  son  Romu- 
ald,  horrified  at  his  father's  crime,  entered  the  Benedictine 
monastery  at  Classe,  to  do  a  forty  days'  penance  for  him.  This 
penance  ended  in  his  own  vocation  to  religion.  After  three  years 
at  Classe,  Romuald  went  to  live  as  a  hermit  near  Venice,  where 
he  was  joined  by  Peter  Urseolus,  Duke  of  Venice,  and  together 
they  led  a  most  austere  life  in  the  midst  of  assaults  from  the  evil 
spirits.  St.  Romuald  founded  many  monasteries,  the  chief  of 
which  was  that  at  Camaldoli,  a  wild  desert  place,  where  he  built 
a  church,  which  he  surrounded  with  a  number  of  separate  cells  for 
the  solitaries  who  lived  under  his  rule.  His  disciples  were  hence 
called  Camaldolese.  He  is  said  to  have  seen  here  a  vision  of  a 
mystic  ladder,  and  his  white-clothed  monks  ascending  by  it  to 
heaven.  Among  his  first  disciples  were  Sts.  Adalbert  and  Boni- 
face, apostles  of  Russia,  and  Sts.  John  and  Benedict  of  Poland, 
martyrs  for  the  Faith.  He  was  an  intimate  friend  of  the  Emperor 
St.  Henry,  and  was  reverenced  and  consulted  by  many  great  men 
of  his  time.  He  once  passed  seven  years  in  solitude  and  complete 
silence.  In  his  youth  St.  Romuald  was  much  troubled  by  tempta- 
tions of  the  flesh.  To  escape  them  he  had  recourse  to  hunting, 
and  in  the  woods  first  conceived  his  love  for  solitude.  His  father's 
sin,  as  we  have  seen,  first  prompted  him  to  undertake  a  forty  days' 
penance  in  the  monastery,  which  he  forthwith  made  his  home. 
Some  bad  example  of  his  fellow-monks  induced  him  to  leave 
them,  and  adopt  the  solitary  mode  of  life.  The  penance  of  Urse- 
olus, who  had  obtained  his  power  wrongfully,  brought  him  his 
first  disciple ;  the  temptations  of  the  devil  compelled  him  to  his 
severe  life  and  finally ;  the  persecutions  of  others  were  the  occa- 
sion of  his  settlement  at  Camaldoli,  and  the  foundation  of  his 

February  S.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


Order.  He  died,  as  he  had  foretold  twenty  years  before,  alone, 
m  his  monastery  of  Val  Castro,  on  the  19th  of  June,  1027. 

Reflection.— St.  Romuald's  life  teaches  us  that,  if  we  only 
follow  the  impulses  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  we  shall  easily  find  good 
everywhere,  even  on  the  most  unlikely  occasions.  Our  own  sins, 
the  sins  of  others,  their  ill-will  against  us,  or  our  own  mistakes 
and  misfortunes,  are  equally  capable  of  leading  us,  with  softened 
hearts,  to  the  feet  of  God's  mercy  and  love. 

1/     FEBRUARY  8.— ST.  JOHN  OF  MATHA. 

HE  life  of  St.  John  of  Matha  was  one  long  course  of  self- 
sacrifice  for  the  glory  of  God  and  the  good  of  his  neighbor. 
As  a  child,  his  chief  delight  was  serving  the  poor ;  and  he 
often  told  them  he  had  come  into  the  world  for  no  other  end  but 
to  wash  their  feet.  He  studied  at  Paris  with  such  distinction  that 
his  professors  advised  him  to  become  a  priest,  in  order  that  his 
talents  might  render  greater  service  to  others ;  and,  for  this  end, 
John  gladly  sacrificed  his  high  rank  and  other  worldly  advantages. 
At  his  first  Mass  an  angel  appeared,  clad  in  white,  with  a  red  and 
blue  cross  on  his  breast,  and  his  hands  reposing  on  the  heads  of  a 
Christian  and  a  Moorish  captive.  To  ascertain  what  this  signified, 
John  repaired  to  St.  Felix  of  Valois,  a  holy  hermit  living  near 
Meaux,  under  whose  direction  he  led  a  life  of  extreme  penance. 



[February  8. 

The  angel  again  appeared ;  and  they  then  set  out  for  Rome,  to 
learn  the  will  of  God  from  the  lips  of  the  Sovereign  Pontiff,  who 
told  them  to  devote  themselves  to  the  redemption  of  captives. 
For  this  purpose  they  founded  the  Order  of  the  Holy  Trinity. 
The  Religious  fasted  every  day,  and  gathering  alms  throughout 
Europe  took  them  to  Barbary,  to  redeem  the  Christian  slaves. 
They  devoted  themselves  also  to  the  sick  and  prisoners  in  all 
countries.    The  charity  of  St.  John  in  devoting  his  life  to  the  re- 

demption of  captives  was  visibly  blessed  by  God.  On  his  second 
return  from  Tunis  he  brought  back  one  hundred  and  twenty  liber- 
ated slaves.  But  the  Moors  attacked  him  at  sea,  overpowered  his 
vessel,  and  doomed  it  to  destruction,  with  all  on  board,  by  taking 
away  the  rudder  and  sails,  and  leaving  it  to  the  mercy  of  the 
winds.  St.  John  tied  his  cloak  to  the  mast,  and  prayed,  saying, 
"  Let  God  arise,  and  let  His  enemies  be  scattered.  O  Lord,  Thou 
wilt  save  the  humble,  and  wilt  bring  down  the  eyes  of  the  proud." 
Suddenly  the  wind  filled  the  small  sail,  and,  without  guidance, 
carried  the  ship  safely  in  a  few  days  to  Ostia,  the  port  of  Rome, 
three  hundred  leagues  from  Tunis.  Worn  out  by  his  heroic  labors, 
John  died  in  1213,  at  the  age  of  fifty-three. 

Reflection. — Let  us  never  forget  that  our  Blessed  Lord  bade 
us  love  our  neighbor  not  only  as  ourselves,  but  as  He  loved  us, 
who  afterward  sacrificed  Himself  for  us. 

February  9.] 





tT  Alexandria,  in  249,  the  mob  rose  in  savage  fury  against  the 
Christians.  Metras,  an  old  man,  perished  first.  His  eyes 
were  pierced  with  reeds,  and  he  was  stoned  t  death.  A 
woman  named  Quinta  was  the  next  victim.  She  was  led  to  a  hea- 
then temple  and  bidden  worship.  She  replied  by  cursing  the  false 
god  again  and  again,  and  she  too  was  stoned  to  death.  After  this 
the  houses  of  the  Christians  were  sacked  and  plundered.  They 
took  the  spoiling  of  their  goods  with  all  joy. 

St.  Apollonia,  an  aged  virgin,  was  the  most  famous  among  the 
martyrs.  Her  teeth  were  beaten  out ;  she  was  led  outside  the  city ; 
a  huge  fire  was  kindled,  and  she  was  told  she  must  deny  Christ,  or 
else  be  burned  alive.  She  was  silent  for  a  while,  and  then,  moved 
by  a  special  inspiration  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  she  leapt  into  the  fire 
and  died  in  its  flames.  The  same  courage  showed  itself  the  next 
year,  when  Decius  became  Emperor,  and  the  persecution  grew  till 
it  seemed  as  if  the  very  elect  must  fall  away.  The  story  of  Dios- 
corus  illustrates  the  courage  of  the  Alexandrian  Christians,  and 
the  esteem  they  had  for  martyrdom.  He  was  a  boy  of  fifteen.  To 
the  arguments  of  the  judge  he  returned  wise  answers :  he  was 
proof  against  torture.    His  older  companions  were  executed,  but 


LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [February  io. 

Dioscorus  was  spared  on  account  of  his  tender  years  ;  yet  the 
Christians  could  not  bear  to  think  that  he  had  been  deprived  of 
the  martyr's  crown,  except  to  receive  it  afterward  more  gloriously. 
"  Dioscorus,"  writes  Dionysius,  Bishop  of  Alexandria  at  this  time, 
"  remains  with  us,  reserved  for  some  longer  and  greater  combat." 
There  were  indeed  many  Christians  who  came,  pale  and  trembling, 
to  offer  the  heathen  sacrifices.  But  the  judges  themselves  were 
struck  with  horror  at  the  multitudes  who  rushed  to  martyrdom. 
Women  triumphed  over  torture,  till  at  last  the  judges  were  glad  to 
execute  them  at  once,  and  put  an  end  to  the  ignominy  of  their 
own  defeat. 

Reflection. — Many  Saints,  who  were  not  martyrs,  have  longed 
to  shed  their  blood  for  Christ.  We,  too,  may  pray  for  some  por- 
tion of  their  spirit ;  and  the  least  suffering  for  the  Faith,  borne 
with  humility  and  courage,  is  the  proof  that  Christ  has  heard  our 


F  this  Saint  but  little  is  known  on  earth,  save  that  she  was 
the  sister  of  the  great  patriarch  St.  Benedict,  and  that,  under 
his  direction,  she  founded  and  governed  a  numerous  com- 
munity near  Monte  Cassino.  St.  Gregory  sums  up  her  life  by  say- 
ing that  she  devoted  herself  to  God  from  her  childhood,  and  that 
her  pure  soul  went  to  God  in  the  likeness  of  a  dove,  as  if  to  show 
that  her  life  had  been  enriched  with  the  fullest  gifts  of  the  Holy 
Spirit.  Her  brother  was  accustomed  to  visit  her  every  year,  for 
"  she  could  not  be  sated  or  wearied  with  the  words  of  grace  which 
flowed  from  his  lips."  On  his  last  visit,  after  a  day  passed  in 
spiritual  converse,  the  Saint,  knowing  that  her  end  was  near,  said, 
"  My  brother,  leave  me  not,  I  pray  you,  this  night,  but  discourse 
with  me  till  dawn  on  the  bliss  of  those  who  see  God  in  heaven.' *  '  % 
St.  Benedict  would  not  break  his  rule  at  the  bidding  of  natural 
affection  ;  and  then  the  Saint  bowed  her  head  on  her  hands  and 
prayed ;  and  there  arose  a  storm  so  violent  that  St.  Benedict  could 
not  return  to  his  monastery,  and  they  passed  the  night  in  heavenly 
conversation.  Three  days  later  St.  Benedict  saw  in  a  vision  the 
soul  of  his  sister  going  up  in  the  likeness  of  a  dove  into  heaven. 
Then  he  gave  thanks  to  God  for  the  graces  He  had  given  her,  and 
for  the  glory  which  had  crowned  them.  When  she  died,  St.  Bene- 
dict, her  spiritual  daughters,  and  the  monks  sent  by  St.  Benedict, 

mingled  their  tears  and  prayed,  "  Alas  !  alas  !  dearest  mother,  to 
whom  dost  thou  leave  us  now  ?  Pray  for  us  to  Jesus,  to  whom 
thou  art  gone."  They  then  devoutly  celebrated  Holy  Mass,  "  com- 
mending her  soul  to  God ;"  and  her  body  was  borne  to  Monte 
Cassino,  and  laid  by  her  brother  in  the  tomb  he  had  prepared  for 
himself.  "  And  they  bewailed  her  many  days  ;"  and  St.  Benedict 
said,  "  Weep  not,  sisters  and  brothers ;  for  assuredly  Jesus  has 
taken  her  before  us  to  be  our  aid  and  defence  against  all  our 
enemies,  that  we  may  stand  in  the  evil  day,  and  be  in  all  things 
perfect."    She  died  about  the  year  543. 

Reflection. — Our  relations  must  be  loved  in  and  for  God. 
Otherwise  the  purest  affection  becomes  inordinate,  and  is  so  much 
taken  from  Him. 


T.  SEVERINUS,  of  a  noble  family  in  Burgundy,  was  edu- 
cated in  the  Catholic  faith,  at  a  time  when  the  Arian  heresy 
reigned  in  that  country.  He  forsook  the  world  in  his  youth, 
and  dedicated  himself  to  God  in  the  monastery  of  Agaunum,  which 
then  only  consisted  of  scattered  cells,  till  the  Catholic  king  Sigis- 
mund  built  there  the  great  abbey  of  St.  Maurice.  St.  Severinus 
was  the  holy  abbot  of  that  place,  and  had  governed  his  community 



[February  i  i. 

many  years  in  the  exercise  of  penance  and  charity,  when,  in  504. 
Clovis,  the  first  Christian  king  of  France,  lying  ill  of  a  fever, 
which  his  physicians  had  for  two  years  ineffectually  endeavored  to 
remove,  sent  his  chamberlain  to  conduct  the  Saint  to  court ;  for  it 
was  said  that  the  sick  from  all  parts  recovered  their  health  by  his 
prayers.  St.  Severinus  took  leave  of  his  monks,  telling  them  he 
should  never  see  them  more  in  this  world.  On  his  journey  he 
healed  Eulalius,  bishop  of  Nevers,  who  had  been  for  some  time  deaf 
and  dumb,  also  a  leper,  at  the  gates  of  Paris ;  and  coming  to  the  pal- 
ace he  immediately  restored  the  king  to  perfect  health,  by  putting 

on  him  his  own  cloak.  The  king,  in  gratitude,  distributed  large  alms 
to  the  poor,  and  released  all  his  prisoners.  St.  Severinus,  return- 
ing toward  Agaunum,  stopped  at  Chateau-Landon,  in  Gatinois, 
where  two  priests  served  God  in  a  solitary  chapel,  among  whom 
he  was  admitted,  at  his  request,  as  a  stranger,  and  was  soon  greatly 
admired  by  them  for  his  sanctity.  He  foresaw  his  death,  which 
happened  shortly  after,  in  507.  The  place  is  now  an  abbey  of  re- 
formed canons  regular  of  St.  Austin.  The  Huguenots  scattered  the 
greatest  part  of  his  relics  when  they  plundered  this  church. 

Reflection. — God  loads  with  His  favor  those  who  delight  in 
exercising  mercy.  "According  to  thy  ability  be  merciful ;  if  thou 
hast  much,  give  abundantly;  if  thou  hast  little,  take  care  even  so 
to  bestow  willingly- a  little." 

February  12.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 



&gj)ENEDiCT  was  the  son  of  Aigulf,  Governor  of  Languedoc, 
ip§)  and  was  born  about  750.  In  his  early  youth  he  served  as 
cupbearer  to  King  Pepin  and  his  son  Charlemagne,  enjoying 
under  them  great  honors  and  possessions.  Grace  entered  his  soul 
at  the  age  of  twenty,  and  he  resolved  to  seek  the  kingdom  of  God 
with  his  whole  heart.  Without  relinquishing  his  place  at  court, 
he  lived  there  a  most  mortified  life  for  three  years  ;  then  a  narrow 
escape  from  drowning  made  him  vow  to  quit  the  world,  and  he 
entered  the  cloister  of  St.  Seine.    In  reward  for  his  heroic  austeri- 

ties in  the  monastic  state,  God  bestowed  upon  him  the  gift  of  tears, 
and  inspired  him  with  a  knowledge  of  spiritual  things.  As  pro- 
curator, he  was  most  careful  of  the  wants  of  the  brethren,  and 
most  hospitable  to  the  poor  and  to  guests.  Declining  to  accept  the 
abbacy,  he  built  himself  a  little  hermitage  on  the  brook  Anian, 
and  lived  some  years  in  great  solitude  and  poverty.  But  the  fame 
of  his  sanctity  drawing  many  souls  around  him,  he  was  obliged  to 
build  a  large  abbey,  and  within  a  short  time  governed  three  hun- 
dred monks.  He  became  the  great  restorer  of  monastic  discipline 
throughout  France  and  Germany.  First,  he  drew  up  with  immense 
labor  a  code  of  the  rules  of  St.  Benedict,  his  great  namesake,  which 
he  collated  with  those  of  the  chief  monastic  founders,  showing  the 
uniformity  of  the  exercises  in  each,  and  enforced  by  his  "  Peni- 



[February  13. 

tential  "  their  exact  observance  ;  secondly,  he  minutely  regulated 
all  matters  regarding  food,  clothing,  and  every  detail  of  life ;  and 
thirdly,  by  prescribing  the  same  for  all,  he  excluded  jealousies  and 
insured  perfect  charity.  In  a  Provincial  Council  held  in  813, 
under  Charlemagne,  at  which  he  was  present,  it  was  declared  that 
all  monks  of  the  West  should  adopt  the  rule  of  St.  Benedict.  He 
died  February  11,  821. 

Reflection. — The  decay  of  monastic  discipline,  and  its  resto- 
ration by  St.  Benedict,  prove  that  none  are  safe  from  loss  of  fervor, 
but  that  all  can  regain  it  by  fidelity  to  grace. 


tLEXANDRINA  of  Ricci  was  the  daughter  of  a  noble  Flor- 
entine. At  the  age  of  thirteen  she  entered  the  third  Order 
of  St.  Dominic  in  the  monastery  of  Prato,  taking  in  religion 
the  name  of  Catherine,  after  her  patron  and  namesake  of  Siena. 
Her  special  attraction  was  to  the  Passion  of  Christ,  in  which  she 
was  permitted  miraculously  to  participate.  In  the  Lent  of  1541, 
being  then  twenty-one  years  of  age,  she  had  a  vision  of  the  Cruci- 
fixion so  heartrending,  that  she  was  confined  to  bed  for  three 
weeks,  and  was  only  restored,  on  Holy  Saturday,  by  an  apparition 
of  St.  Mary  Magdalen  and  Jesus  risen.  During  twelve  years  she 
passed  every  Friday  in  ecstasy.  She  received  the  sacred  stigmata, 
the  wound  in  the  left  side,  and  the  crown  of  thorns.  All  these 
favors  gave  her  continual  and  intense  suffering,  and  inspired  her 
with  a  loving  sympathy  for  the  yet  more  bitter  tortures  of  the 
Holy  Souls.  In  their  behalf  she  offered  all  her  prayers  and  pen- 
ances ;  and  her  charity  toward  them  became  so  famous  throughout 
Tuscany,  that  after  every  death  the  friends  of  the  deceased  hastened 
to  Catherine  to  secure  her  prayers.  St.  Catherine  offered  many 
prayers,  fasts,  and  penances  for  a  certain  great  man,  and  thus  ob- 
tained his  salvation.  It  was  revealed  to  her  that  he  was  in  Purga- 
tory ;  and  such  was  her  love  of  Jesus  crucified,  that  she  offered  to 
suffer  all  the  pains  about  to  be  inflicted  on  that  soul.  Her  prayer 
was  granted.  The  soul  entered  heaven,  and  for  forty  days  Cathe- 
rine suffered  indescribable  agonies.  Her  body  was  covered  with 
blisters,  emitting  heat  so  great  that  her  cell  seemed  on  fire.  Her 
flesh  appeared  as  if  roasted,  and  her  tongue  like  red-hot  iron. 
Amid  all  she  was  calm  and  joyful,  saying,  "I  long  to  suffer  all 
imaginable  pains,  that  souls  may  quickly  see  and  praise  their 

February  14.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  93 

Redeemer."  She  knew  by  revelation  the  arrival  of  a  soul  in 
Purgatory,  and  the  hour  of  its  release.  She  held  intercourse  with 
the  Saints  in  glory,  and  frequently  conversed  with  St.  Philip  Neri 
at  Rome  without  ever  leaving  her  convent  at  Prato.  She  died, 
amid  angels  songs,  in  1589. 

Reflection. — If  we  truly  love  Jesus  crucified,  we  must  long, 
like  St.  Catherine,  to  release  the  Holy  Souls  whom  He  has  re- 
deemed, but  has  left  to  our  charity  to  set  free. 


ALENTINE  was  a  holy  priest  in  Rome,  who,  with  St 
Marius  and  his  family,  assisted  the  martyrs  in  the  persecu- 
tion under  Claudius  II.  He  was  apprehended,  and  sent  . by 
the  emperor  to  the  prefect  of  Rome,  who,  on  finding  all  his  pro- 
mises to  make  him  renounce  his  faith  ineffectual,  commanded  him 
to  be  beaten  with  clubs,  and  afterward  to  be  beheaded,  which  was 
executed  on  the  14th  of  February,  about  the  year  270.  Pope  Julius 
I.  is  said  to  have  built  a  church  near  Ponte  Mole  to  his  memory, 
which  for  a  long  time  gave  name  to  the  gate,  now  called  Porta  del 
Popolo,  formerly  Porta  Valentini.  The  greatest  part  of  his  relics 
are  now  in  the  church  of  St.  Praxedes.    To  abolish  the  heathen's 


LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [February  15, 

lewd  superstitious  custom  of  boys  drawing  the  names  of  girls,  in 
honor  of  their  goddess  Februata  Juno,  on  the  15th  of  this  months 
several  zealous  pastors  substituted  the  names  of  Saints  in  billets 
given  on  this  day. 

Reflection. — In  the  cause  of  justice  and  truth,  prudence  should 
not  be  held  in  account ;  otherwise  prudence  is  mere  human  respect- 
St.  Paul  says  :  "  The  wisdom  of  the  flesh  is  death." 


''jp^  AUSTIN  US  and  Jovita  were  brothers,  nobly  born,  and  zeal- 
ous  professors  of  the  Christian  religion,  which  they  preach- 
ed without  fear  in  their  city  of  Brescia,  while  the  bishop  of 
that  place  lay  concealed  during  the  persecution.  Their  remarkable 
zeal  excited  the  fury  of  the  heathens  against  them,  and  procured 
them  a  glorious  death  for  their  faith  at  Brescia,  in  Lombardy,  under 
the  Emperor  Adrian.  Julian,  a  heathen  lord,  apprehended  them  ; 
and  the  emperor  himself,  passing  through  Brescia,  when  neither 
threats  nor  torments  could  shake  their  constancy,  commanded  them 
to  be  beheaded.  They  seem  to  have  suffered  about  the  year  121. 
The  city  of  Brescia  honors  them  as  its  chief  patrons,  possesses  their 
relics,  and  a  very  ancient  church  in  that  city  bears  their  names. 

February  16.] 



Reflection. — The  spirit  of  Christ  is  a  spirit  of  martyrdom — at 
least  of  mortification  and  penance.  It  is  always  the  spirit  of 
the  cross.  The  more  we  share  in  the  suffering  life  of  Christ,  the 
greater  share  we  inherit  in  His  spirit,  and  in  the  fruit  of  His  death. 
To  souls  mortified  to  their  senses  and  disengaged  from  earthly 
things,  God  gives  frequent  foretastes  of  the  sweetness  of  eternal 
life,  and  the  most  ardent  desires  of  possessing  Him  in  His  glory. 
This  is  the  spirit  of  martyrdom,  which  entitles  a  Christian  to  a 
happy  resurrection  and  to  the  bliss  of  the  life  to  come. 



3§\ON  PEDRO  II.  of  Portugal,  when  a  child,  had  among  his 
little  pages  a  modest  boy  of  rich  and  princely  parents. 
Much  had  John  de  Britto — for  so  was  he  called — to  bear 
from  his  careless-living  companions,  to  whom  his  holy  life  was  a 
reproach.  A  terrible  illness  made  him  turn  for  aid  to  St.  Francis 
Xavier,  a  Saint  so  well  loved  by  the  Portuguese ;  and  when,  in  an- 
swer to  his  prayers,  he  recovered,  his  mother  vested  him  for  a 
year  in  the  dress  worn  in  those  days  by  the  Jesuit  Fathers.  From 
that  time  John's  heart  burned  to  follow  the  example  of  the  Apos- 
tle of  the  Indies.  He  gained  his  double  wish.  On  December  17, 
1662,  he  entered  the  novitiate  of  the  Society  at  Lisbon  ;  and  eleven 



[February  16. 

years  later,  in  spite  of  the  most  determined  opposition  of  his  fam- 
ily and  of  the  court,  he  left  all  to  go  to  convert  the  Hindoos  of  Ma- 
dura. When  Blessed  John's  mother  knew  that  her  son  was  going 
to  the  Indies,  she  used  all  her  influence  to  prevent  him  leaving  his 
own  country,  and  persuaded  the  Papal  Nuncio  to  interfere.  "  God, 
who  called  me  from  the  world  into  religious  life,  now  calls  me 
from  Portugal  to  India,"  was  the  reply  of  the  future  martyr. 
"  Not  to  answer  the  vocation  as  I  ought,  would  be  to  provoke 
the  justice  of^God.  As  long  as  I  live,  I  shall  never  cease  striving 
to  gain  a  passage  to  India."  For  fourteen  years  he  toiled  ; 
preaching,  converting,  baptizing  multitudes,  at  the  cost  of  pri- 
vations, hardships,  and  persecutions.  At  last,  after  being  seized, 
tortured,  and  nearly  massacred  by  the  heathens,  he  was  banish- 
ed the  country.  Forced  to  return  to  Portugal,  John  once  more 
broke  through  every  obstacle,  and  went  back  again  to  his  labor  of 
love.  Like  St.  John  the  Baptist,  he  died  a  victim  to  the  anger  of  a 
guilty  woman,  whom  a  convert  king  had  put  aside,  and  like  the 
Precursor,  he  was  beheaded  after  a  painful  imprisonment. 

Reflection. — "  It  is  a  great  honor,  a  great  glory  to  serve  God, 
and  to  contemn  all  things  for  God.  They  will  have  a  great  grace 
who  freely  subject  themselves  to  God's  most  holy  will." — The 

Imitation  of  Christ. 


E  was  a  Phrygian  by  birth,  slave  to  Philemon,  a  person  of 
note  of  the  city  of  Colossae,  converted  to  the  faith  by  St. 
Paul.  Having  robbed  his  master,  and  being  obliged  to 
fly,  he  providentially  met  with  St.  Paul,  then  a  prisoner  for  the 
faith  at  Rome,  who  there  converted  and  baptized  him,  and  sent 
him  with  his  canonical  letter  of  recommendation  to  Philemon,  by 
whom  he  was  pardoned,  set  at  liberty,  and  sent  back  to  his  spirit- 
ual father,  whom  he  afterward  faithfully  served.  That  apostle 
made  him,  with  Tychicus,  the  bearer  of  his  epistle  to  the  Colossians, 
and  afterward,  as  St.  Jerome  and  other  fathers  witness,  a  preacher 
of  the  Gospel  and  a  bishop.  He  was  crowned  with  martyrdom 
under  Domitian  in  the  year  95. 

Reflection. — With  what  excess  of  goodness  does  God  com- 
municate Himself  to  souls  which  open  themselves  to  Him  !  With 
what  caresses  does  He  often  visit  them  !  With  what  a  profusion  of 
graces  does  He  enrich  and  strengthen  them  !    In  our  trials  and 

February  17.] 




LA  VI  AN  was  elected  Patriarch  of  Constantinople  in  447. 
Lc£  His  short  episcopate  of  two  years  was  a  time  of  conflict 
and  persecution  from  the  first.  Chrysaphius,  the  emperor's 
favorite,  tried  to  extort  a  large  sum  of  money  from  him  on  occa- 
sion of  his  consecration.  His  fidelity  in  refusing  this  simoniacal 
betrayal  of  his  trust  brought  on  him  the  enmity  of  the  most  pow- 
erful man  in  the  empire.  A  graver  trouble  soon  arose.  In  448 
Flavian  had  to  condemn  the  rising  heresy  of  the  monk  Eutyches, 
who  obstinately  denied  that  our  Lord  was  in  two  perfect  natures 
after  His  Incarnation.  Eutyches  drew  to  his  cause  all  the  bad  ele- 
ments which  so  early  gathered  about  the  Byzantine  court.  His 
intrigues  were  long  baffled  by  the  vigilance  of  Flavian ;  but  at  last 
he  obtained  from  the  emperor  the  assembly  of  a  council  at  Ephe- 
sus,  in  August,  449,  presided  over  by  his  friend  Dioscorus,  Patri- 
arch of  Alexandria.  In  this  "  robber  council,"  as  it  is  called, 
Eutyches  entered,  surrounded  by  soldiers.  The  Roman  legates 
could  not  even  read  the  Pope's  letters ;  and  at  the  first  sign  of 



[February  18. 

resistance  to  the  condemnation  of  Flavian,  fresh  troops  entered 
with  drawn  swords,  and,  in  spite  of  the  protests  of  the  legates, 
terrified  most  of  the  bishops  into  acquiescence. 

The  fury  of  Dioscorus  reached  its  height  when  Flavian  appealed 
to  the  Holy  See.  Then  it  was  that  he  so  forgot  his  apostolic  office 
as  to  lay  violent  hands  on  his  adversary.  St.  Flavian  was  set  upon 
by  Dioscorus  and  others,  thrown  down,  beaten,  kicked,  and  finally 
carried  into  banishment.  Let  us  contrast  their  ends.  Flavian 
clung  to  the  teaching  of  -the  Roman  Pontiff,  and  sealed  his  faith 
with  his  blood.  Dioscorus  excommunicated  the  Vicar  of  Christ, 
and  died  obstinate  and  impenitent  in  the  heresy  of  Eutyches. 

Reflection. — By  his  unswerving  loyalty  to  the  Vicar  of  Christ, 
Flavian  held  fast  to  the  truth  and  gained  the  martyr's  crown. 
Let  us  learn  from  him  to  turn  instinctively  to  that  one  True  Guide 
in  all  matters  concerning  our  salvation. 


T.  SIMEON  was  the  son  of  Cleophas,  otherwise  called 
Alpheus,  brother  to  St.  Joseph,  and  of  Mary,  sister  of  the 
Blessed  Virgin.  He  was  therefore  nephew  both  to  St. 
Joseph  and  to  the  Blessed  Virgin,  and  cousin  to  our  Saviour. 
IVe  cannot  doubt  but  he  was  an  early  follower  of  Christ,  and 

February  18.] 



that  he  received  the  Holy  Ghost  on  the  day  of  Pentecost,  with  the 
Blessed  Virgin  and  the  apostles.  When  the  Jews  massacred  St. 
James  the  Lesser,  his  brother  Simeon  reproached  them  for  their 
atrocious  cruelty.  St.  James,  Bishop  of  Jerusalem,  being  put  to 
death  in  the  year  62,  twenty-nine  years  after  our  Saviour's  resur- 
rection, the  apostles  and  disciples  met  at  Jerusalem  to  appoint  him 
a  successor.  They  unanimously  chose  St.  Simeon,  who  had  prob- 
ably before  assisted  his  brother  in  the  government  of  that  Church. 

In  the  year  66,  in  which  SS.  Peter  and  Paul  suffered  martyr- 
dom at  Rome,  the  civil  war  began  in  Judea,  by  the  seditions  of  the 

Jews  against  the  Romans.  The  Christians  in  Jerusalem  were 
warned  by  God  of  the  impending  destruction  of  that  city.  They 
therefore  departed  out  of  it  the  same  year,  before  Vespasian, 
Nero's  general,  and  afterward  emperor,  entered  Judea,  and  retired 
beyond  Jordan  to  a  small  city  called  Pella,  having  St.  Simeon  at 
their  head.  After  the  taking  and  burning  of  Jerusalem,  they 
returned  thither  again,  and  settled  themselves  amidst  its  ruins,  till 
Adrian  afterward  entirely  razed  it.  The  Church  here  nourished, 
and  multitudes  of  Jews  were  converted  by  the  great  number  of 
prodigies  and  miracles  wrought  in  it. 

Vespasian  and  Domitian  had  commanded  all  to  be  put  to  death 
who  were  of  the  race  of  David.  St.  Simeon  had  escaped  their 
searches ;  but  Trajan  having  given  the  same  order,  certain  heretics 



[February  19. 

and  Jews  accused  the  Saint,  as  being  both  of  the  race  of  David  and 
a  Christian,  to  Atticus,  the  Roman  governor  in  Palestine.  The  holy 
bishop  was  condemned  to  be  crucified.  After  having  undergone 
the  usual  tortures  during  several  days,  which,  though  one  hundred 
and  twenty  years  old,  he  suffered  with  so  much  patience  that  he 
drew  on  him  a  universal  admiration,  and  that  of  Atticus  in  par- 
ticular, he  died  in  107.  He  must  have  governed  the  Church  of 
Jerusalem  about  forty-three  years. 

Reflection. — We  bear  the  name  of  Christians,  but  are  full  of 
the  spirit  of  worldlings,  and  our  actions  are  infected  with  its  poi- 
son. We  secretly  seek  ourselves,  even  when  we  natter  ourselves 
that  God  is  our  only  aim,  and  whilst  we  undertake  to  convert  the 
world,  we  suffer  it  to  pervert  us.  When  shall  we  begin  to  study  to 
•crucify  our  passions  and  die  to  ourselves,  that  we  may  lay  a  solid 
foundation  of  true  virtue  and  establish  its  reign  in  our  hearts? 


fT.  BARBATUS  was  born  in  the  territory  of  Benevento,  in 
Italy,  toward  the  end  of  the  pontificate  of  St.  Gregory  the 
Great,  in  the  beginning  of  the  seventh  century.  His  parents 
gave  him  a  Christian  education,  and  Barbatus  in  his  youth  laid 
the  foundation  of  that  eminent  sanctity  which  recommends  him 
to  our  veneration.  The  innocence,  simplicity,  and  purity  of  his 
manners,  and  extraordinary  progress  in  all  virtues,  qualified  him 
for  the  service  of  the  altar,  to  which  he  was  assumed  by  taking 
holy  orders  as  soon  as  the  canons  of  the  Church  would  allow  it. 
He  was  immediately  employed  by  his  bishop  in  preaching,  for 
which  he  had  an  extraordinary  talent,  and,  after  some  time,  made 
curate  of  St.  Basil's,  in  Morcona,  a  town  near  Benevento.  His 
parishioners  were  steeled  in  their  irregularities,  and  they  treated 
him  as  a  disturber  of  their  peace,  and  persecuted  him  with  the 
utmost  violence.  Finding  their  malice  conquered  by  his  patience 
and  humility,  and  his  character  shining  still  more  bright,  they 
had  recourse  to  slanders,  in  which,  such  was  their  virulence  and 
•success,  that  he  was  obliged  to  withdraw  his  charitable  endeavors 
among  them.  Barbafus  returned  to  Benevento,  where  he  was 
received  with  joy.  When  St.  Barbatus  entered  upon  his  ministry 
in  that  city,  the  Christians  themselves  retained  many  idolatrous 
•superstitions,  which  even  their  duke,  or  Prince  Romuald,  author- 
ized by  his  example,  though  son  of  Grimoald,  King  of  the  Lom- 
bards, who  had  edified  all  Italy  by  his  conversion.  They  expressed 

February  19.] 



a  religious  veneration  to  a  golden  viper,  and  prostrated  them- 
selves before  it ;  they  paid  also  a  superstitious  honor  to  a  tree,  on 
which  they  hung  the  skin  of  a  wild  beast ;  and  these  ceremonies 
were  closed  by  public  games,  in  which  the  skin  served  for  a  mark 
at  which  bowmen  shot  arrows  over  their  shoulders.  St.  Barbatus 
preached  zealously  against  these  abuses,  and  at  length  he  roused 
their  attention  by  foretelling  the  distress  of  their  city,  and  the 
calamities  which  it  was  to  suffer  from  the  army  of  the  Emperor 
Constans,  who,  landing  soon  after  in  Italy,  laid  siege  to  Benevento. 
Ildebrand,  bishop  of  Benevento,  dying  during  the  siege,  after  the 
public  tranquillity  wras  restored,  St.  Barbatus  was  consecrated 

bishop  on  the  10th  of  March,  663  ;  Barbatus,  being  invested  with 
the  episcopal  character,  pursued  and  completed  the  good  work 
wdiich  he  had  so  happily  begun,  and  destroyed  every  trace  of  super- 
stition in  the  whole  state.  In  the  year  680  he  assisted  in  a  council 
held  by  Pope  Agatho,  at  Rome,  and  the  year  following  in  the  sixth 
general  council  held  at  Constantinople  against  the  Monothelites. 
He  did  not  long  survive  this  great  assembly,  for  he  died  on  the 
29th  of  February,  682,  being  about  seventy  years  old  almost  nine- 
teen of  which  he  had  spent  in  the  episcopal  chair. 

Reflection— St.  Augustine  says  :  '  When  the  enemy  has 
been  cast  out  of  your  hearts,  renounce  him,  not  only  in  word,  but 
in  work  ;  not  only  by  the  sound  of  the  lips,  but  in  every  act  of 
your  life." 


LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [February  20. 


fHIS  Saint  was  born  at  Orleans  of  a  very  illustrious  family. 
At  his  birth  his  parents  dedicated  him  to  God,  and  set  him 
to  study  when  he  was  but  seven  years  old,  resolving  to  omit 
nothing  that  could  be  done  toward  cultivating  his  mind  or  form- 
ing his  heart.  His  improvement  in  virtue  kept  pace  with  his 
progress  in  learning :  he  meditated  assiduously  on  the  sacred 
writings,  especially  on  St.  Paul's  manner  of  speaking  on  the  world 
and  its  enjoyments,  as  mere  empty  shadows  that  deceive  us  and 
vanish  away.  These  reflections  at  length  sank  so  deep  into  his 
mind  that  he  resolved  to  quit  the  world.  To  put  this  design  in 
execution,  about  the  year  714,  he  retired  to  the  abbey  of  Jumiege, 
in  Normandy,  where  he  spent  six  or  seven  years  in  the  practice  of 
penitential  austerities  and  obedience.  Suavaric,  his  uncle,  bishop 
of  Orleans,  having  died,  the  senate  and  people,  with  the  clergy  of 
that  city,  begged  permission  to  elect  Eucherius  to  the  vacant  see. 
The  Saint  entreated  his  monks  to  screen  him  from  the  dangers  that 
threatened  him.  But  they  preferred  the  public  good  to  their  pri- 
vate inclinations,  and  resigned  him  up  for  that  important  charge. 
He  was  consecrated  with  universal  applause  in  721.  Charles 
Martel,  to  defray  the  expenses  of  his  wars  and  other  undertakings, 
often  stripped  the  churches  of  their  revenues.    St.  Eucherius 

February  21.] 



reproved  these  encroachments  with  so  much  zeal,  that,  in  the  year 
737,  Charles  banished  him  to  Cologne.  The  extraordinary  esteem 
which  his  virtue  procured  him  in  that  city,  moved  Charles  to  order 
him  to  be  conveyed  thence  to  a  strong  place  in  the  territory  of 
Liege.  Robert,  the  governor  of  that  country,  was  so  charmed 
with  his  virtue,  that  he  made  him  the  distributer  of  his  large  alms, 
and  allowed  him  to  retire  to  the  monastery  of  Sarchinium,  or  St. 
Tron's.  Here  prayer  and  contemplation  were  his  whole  employ- 
ment till  the  year  743,  in  which  he  died  on  the  20th  of  February. 

Reflection. — Nothing  softens  the  soul  and  weakens  piety  so 
much  as  frivolous  indulgence.  God  has  revealed  what  high  store 
he  sets  by  "  retirement"  in  these  words  :  "  I  will  lead  her  into  soli- 
tude, and  I  will  speak  to  her  heart." 


N  the  reign  of  Marcian  and  St.  Pulcheria,  the  council  of  Chal- 
cedon,  which  condemned  the  Eutychian  heresy,  was  received 
by  St.  Euthymius,  and  by  a  great  part  of  the  monks  of  Pales- 
tine.   But  Theodosius,  an  ignorant  Eutychian  monk,  and  a  man 

of  a  most  tyrannical  temper,  under  the  protection  of  the  empress 
Eudoxia,  widow  of  Theodosius  the  Younger,  who  lived  at  Jeru- 
salem, perverted  many  among  the  monks  themselves,  and  having 



[February  22. 

obliged  Juvenal,  bishop  of  Jerusalem,  to  withdraw,  unjustly  pos- 
sessed himself  of  that  important  see,  and  in  a  cruel  persecution 
which  he  raised,  filled  Jerusalem  with  blood ;  then,  at  the  head  of 
a  band  of  soldiers,  he  carried  desolation  over  the  country.  Man}', 
however,  had  the  courage  to  stand  their  ground.  No  one  resisted 
him  with  greater  zeal  and  resolution  than  Severianus,  bishop  of 
Scythopolis,  and  his  recompense  was  the  crown  of  martyrdom ; 
for  the  furious  soldiers  seized  his  person,  dragged  him  out  of  the 
city,  and  massacred  him  in  the  latter  part  of  the  year  452,  or  in 
the  beginning  of  the  year  453. 

Reflection. — With  what  floods  of  tears  can  we  sufficiently  be- 
wail so  grievous  a  misfortune,  and  implore  the  divine  mercy  in 
behalf  of  so  many  souls !  How  ought  we  to  be  alarmed  at  the 
consideration  of  so  many  dreadful  examples  of  God's  inscrutable 
judgments,  and  tremble  for  ourselves  !  "Let  him  who  stands  be- 
ware lest  he  fall.  Hold  fast  what  thou  hast,"  says  the  oracle  of 
the  Holy  Ghost  to  every  one  of  us,  "lest  another  bear  away  thy 



'Vil^HAT  Saint  Peter,  before  he  went  to  Rome,  founded  the  see 
'jjj^  of  Antioch  is  attested  by  many  Saints.  It  was  just  that  the 
Prince  of  the  Apostles  should  take  this  city  under  his  par- 
ticular care  and  inspection,  which  was  then  the  capital  of  the  East, 
and  in  which  the  faith  took  so  early  and  so  deep  root  as  to  give 
birth  in  it  to  the  name  of  Christians.  St.  Chrysostom  says  that 
St.  Peter  made  there  a  long  stay  :  St.  Gregory  the  Great,  that  he 
was  seven  years  bishop  of  Antioch ;  not  that  he  resided  there  all 
that  time,  but  only  that  he  had  a  particular  care  over  that  Church. 
If  he  sat  twenty-five  years  at  Rome,  the  date  of  his  establishing 
his  chair  at  Antioch  must  be  within  three  years  after  our  Saviour's 
Ascension  ;  for  in  that  supposition  he  must  have  gone  to  Rome  in 
the  second  year  of  Claudius.  In  the  first  ages  it  was  customary, 
especially  in  the  East,  for  every  Christian  to  keep  the  anniversary 
of  his  baptism,  on  which  he  renewed  his  baptismal  vows,  and 
gave  thanks  to  God  for  his  heavenly  adoption  :  this  they  called 
their  spiritual  birthday.  The  bishops  in  like  manner  kept  the 
anniversary  of  their  own  consecration,  as  appears  from  four  ser- 
mons of  St.  Leo  on  the  anniversary  of  his  accession  or  assumption 
to  the  pontifical  dignity ;  and  this  was  frequently  continued  after 

February  23.] 



their  decease  by  the  people,  out  of  respect  to  their  memory. 
St.  Leo  says,  we  ought  to  celebrate  the  Chair  of  St.  Peter  with  no 
less  joy  than  the  day  of  his  martyrdom  ;  for  as  in  this  he  was  ex- 
alted to  a  throne  of  glory  in  heaven,  so  by  the  former  he  was 
installed  Head  of  the  Church  on  earth. 

Reflection. — On  this  festival  we  are  especially  bound  to  adore 
and  thank  the  Divine  Goodness  for  the  establishment  and  propaga- 
tion of  His  Church,  and  earnestly  to  pray  that  in  His  mercy  He 
preserve  the  same,  and  dilate  its  pale,  that  His  name  may  be  glori- 
fied by  all  nations,  and  by  all  hearts,  to  the  boundaries  of  the 
earth,  for  His  divine  honor  and  the  salvation  of  souls,  framed 
to  His  divine  image,  and  the  price  of  His  adorable  blood. 


fT.  PETER  DAMIAN  was  born  in  988,  and  lost  both  parents 
at  an  early  age.  His  eldest  brother,  in  whose  hands  he  was 
left,  treated  him  so  cruelly  that  a  younger  brother,  a  priest, 
moved  by  his  piteous  state,  sent  him  to  the  university  of  Parma, 
where  he  acquired  great  distinction.  His  studies  were  sanctified  by 
vigils,  fasts,  and  prayers,  till  at  last,  thinking  that  all  this  was  only 
serving  God  by  halves,  he  resolved  to  leave  the  world.  He  joined 
the  monks  of  Font-Avellano,  then  in  the  greatest  repute,  and  by 



[February  23. 

his  wisdom  and  sanctity  rose  to  be  Superior.  He  was  employed 
on  the  most  delicate  and  difficult  missions,  amongst  others,  the 
reform  of  ecclesiastical  communities,  which  was  effected  by  his 
zeal.  Seven  Popes  in  succession  made  him  their  constant  adviser, 
and  he  was  at  last  created  Cardinal  Bishop  of  Ostia.  He  with- 
stood Henry  IV.  of  Germany,  and  labored  in  defence  of  Alexan- 
der II.  against  the  Antipope,  whom  he  forced  to  yield  and  seek 
for  pardon.  He  was  charged,  as  Papal  Legate,  with  the  repres- 
sion of  simony ;  again  was  commissioned  to  settle  discords 
amongst  various  bishops;  and  finally,  in  1072,  to  adjust  the  affairs 
of  the  Church  at  Ravenna.  He  was  laid  low  by  a  fever  on  his 
homeward  journey,  and  died  at  Faenza,  in  a  monastery  of  his 
order,  on  the  eighth  day  of  his  sickness,  whilst  the  monks  chanted 
matins  around  him. 

Reflection. — The  Saints  studied,  not  in  order  to  be  accounted 
learned,  but  to  become  perfect.  This  only  is  wisdom  and  true 
greatness,  to  account  ourselves  as  ignorant,  and  to  adhere  in  all 
things  to  the  teachings  and  instincts  of  the  Church. 


ERENUS  was  by  birth  a  Grecian.  He  quitted  estate,  friends' 
VǤ)  and  country  to  serve  God  in  celibacy,  penance,  and  prayer. 

With  this  design  he  bought  a  garden  in  Sirmium,  in  Pan- 
nonia,  which  he  cultivated  with  his  own  hands,  and  lived  on  the 
fruits  and  herbs  it  produced.  One  day  there  came  thither  a 
woman,  with  her  two  daughters.  Serenus,  seeing  them  come  up, 
advised  them  to  withdraw,  and  to  conduct  themselves  in  future 
as  decency  required  in  persons  of  their  sex  and  condition.  The 
woman,  stung  at  our  Saint's  charitable  remonstrance,  retired  in 
confusion,  but  resolved  on  revenging  the  supposed  affront.  She 
accordingly  wrote  to  her  husband  that  Serenus  had  insulted  her. 
He,  on  receiving  her  letter,  went  to  the  emperor  to  demand  jus- 
tice, whereupon  the  emperor  gave  him  a  letter  to  the  governor  of 
the  province  to  enable  him  to  obtain  satisfaction.  The  governor 
ordered  Serenus  to  be  immediately  brought  before  him.  Serenus, 
on  hearing  the  charge,  answered,  "  I  remember  that,  some  time 
ago,  a  lady  came  into  my  garden  at  an  unseasonable  hour,  and  I 
own  I  took  the  liberty  to  tell  her  it  was  against  decency  for  one 
of  her  sex  and  quality  to  be  abroad  at  such  an  hour."  This  plea 
of  Serenus  having  put  the  officer  to  the  blush  for  his  wife's 

February  23.] 



conduct,  he  dropped  his  prosecution.  But  the  governor,  suspecting 
by  this  answer  that  Serenus  might  be  a  Christian,  began  to  question 
him,  saying,  "  Who  are  you,  and  what  is  your  religion  ?"  Serenus, 
without  hesitating  one  moment,  answered,  "  I  am  a  Christian.  It 
seemed  awhile  ago  as  if  God  rejected  me  as  a  stone  unfit  to  enter 
His  building,  but  He  has  the  goodness  to  take  me  now  to  be  placed 
in  it ;  I  am  ready  to  suffer  all  things  for  His  name,  that  I  may  have 
a  part  in  His  kingdom  with  His  Saints."  The  governor,  hearing 
this,  burst  into  rage,  and  said,  "  Since  you  sought  to  elude  by 
flight  the  emperor's  edicts,  and  have  positively  refused  to  sacrifice 

to  the  gods,  I  condemn  you  for  these  crimes  to  lose  your  head." 
The  sentence  was  no  sooner  pronounced  than  the  Saint  was  car- 
ried off  and  beheaded,  on  the  23d  of  February,  in  307. 

Reflection. — The  garden  affords  a  beautiful  emblem  of  a 
Christian's  continual  progress  in  the  path  of  virtue.  Plants  always 
mount  upwards,  and  never  stop  in  their  growth  till  they  have  attained 
to  that  maturity  which  the  author  of  nature  has  prescribed.  So  in  a 
Christian,  every  thing  ought  to  carry  him  toward  that  perfection 
which  the  sanctity  of  his  state  requires ;  and  every  desire  of  his 
soul,  every.action  of  his  life,  should  be  a  step  advancing  to  this 
in  a  direct  line. 



[February  24. 


FTER  our  Blessed  Lord's  ascension  His  disciples  met  to- 
gether, with  Mary  His  mother,  and  the  eleven  apostles,  in 
an  upper  room  at  Jerusalem.  The  little  company  num- 
bered no  more  than  one  hundred  and  twenty  souls.  They  were 
waiting  for  the  promised  coming  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  they  per- 
severed in  prayer.  Meanwhile  there  was  a  solemn  act  to  be  per- 
formed on  the  part  of  the  Church,  which  could  not  be  postponed. 
The  place  of  the  fallen  Judas  must  be  filled  up,  that  the  elect 
number  of  the  apostles  might  be  complete.    St.  Peter,  therefore, 

as  Vicar  of  Christ,  arose  to  announce  the  divine  decree.  That 
which  the  Holy  Ghost  had  spoken  by  the  mouth  of  David  con- 
cerning Judas,  he  said,  must  be  fulfilled.  Of  him  it  had  been 
written,  "  His  bishopric  let  another  take."  A  choice,  therefore, 
was  to  be  made  of  one  among  those  who  had  been  their  com- 
panions from  the  beginning,  who  could  bear  witness  to  the  resur- 
rection of  Jesus.  Two  were  named  of  equal  merit,  Joseph  called 
Barsabas,  and  Matthias.  Then,  after  praying  to  God,  who  knows 
the  hearts  of  all  men,  to  show  which  of  these  He  had  chosen,  they 
cast  lots,  and  the  lot  fell  upon  Matthias,  who  was  forthwith  num- 
bered with  the  apostles.  It  is  recorded  of  the  Saint,  thus  wonder- 
fully elected  to  so  high  a  vocation,  that  he  was  above  all  remark- 

February  25.] 



able  for  his  mortification  of  the  flesh.  It  was  thus  he  made  his 
election  sure. 

Reflection. — Our  ignorance  of  many  points  in  St.  Matthias's 
life  serves  to  fix  the  attention  all  the  more  firmly  upon  these  two 
— the  occasion  of  his  call  to  the  apostolate,  and  the  fact  of  his  per- 
severance. We  then  naturally  turn  in  thought  to  our  own  voca- 
tion and  our  own  end. 


ARASIUS  was  born  at  Constantinople  about  the  middle  of 
the  eighth  century,  of  a  noble  family.    His  mother,  Eucra- 
tia,  brought  him  up  in  the  practice  of  the  most  eminent  vir- 
tues.   By  his  talents  and  virtue  he  gained  the  esteem  of  all,  and 

was  raised  to  the  greatest  honors  of  the  empire,  being  made  con- 
sul, and  afterward  first  secretary  of  state  to  the  £mperor  Constan- 
tine  and  the  Empress  Irene,  his  mother.  In  the  midst  of  the  court, 
and  in  its  highest  honors,  he  led  a  life  like  that  of  a  religious 
man.  Paul,  Patriarch  of  Constantinople,  the  third  of  that  name, 
though  he  had  conformed  in  some  respects  to  the  then  reigning 
heresy,  had  several  good  qualities ;  and  was  not  only  beloved  by 
the  people  for  his  charity  to  the  poor,  but  highly  esteemed  by  the 


LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [February  26. 

whole  court  for  his  great  prudence.  Touched  with  remorse,  he 
quitted  the  patriarchal  see,  and  put  on  a  religious  habit  in  the 
monastery  of  Florus,  in  Constantinople.  Tarasius  was  chosen  to 
succeed  him  by  the  unanimous  consent  of  the  court,  clergy,  and 
people.  Finding  it  in  vain  to  oppose  his  election,  he  declared 
that  he  could  not  in  conscience  accept  of  the  government  of 
a  see  which  had  been  cut  off  from  the  Catholic  communion, 
except  on  condition  that  a  general  council  should  be  called  to 
compose  the  disputes  which  divided  the  Church  at  that  time 
in  relation  to  holy  images.  This  being  agreed  to,  he  was  solemnly 
declared  patriarch,  and  consecrated  soon  after,  on  Christmas  day. 
The  council  was  opened  on  the  1st  of  August,  in  the  church  of 
the  Apostles  at  Constantinople,  in  786.  But  being  disturbed  by 
the  violences  of  the  Iconoclasts,  it  adjourned  and  met  again  the 
year  following  in  the  church  of  St.  Sophia,  at  Nice.  The  council 
having  declared  the  sense  of  the  Church,  in  relation  to  the  matter  m 
debate,  which  was  found  to  be  the  allowing  to  holy  pictures  and 
images  a  relative  honor,  was  closed  with  the  usual  acclamations  and 
prayers  for  the  prosperity  of  the  Emperor  and  Empress.  After 
which,  synodal  letters  were  sent  to  all. the  churches,  and  in  partic- 
ular to  the  Pope,  who  approved  the  council.  The  life  of  this  holy 
patriarch  was  a  model  of  perfection  to  his  clergy  and  people.  His 
table  contained  barely  the  necessaries  of  life,  he  allowed  himself 
very  little  time  for  sleep,  being  always  up  the  first  and  last  in  his 
family.  Reading  and  prayer  filled  all  his  leisure  hours.  The 
Emperor  having  become  enamoured  of  Theodota,  a  maid  of  honor 
to  his  wife,  the  Empress  Mary,  was  resolved  to  divorce  the  latter. 
He  used  all  his  efforts  to  gain  the  patriarch  over  to  his  desires,  but 
St.  Tarasius  resolutely  refused  to  countenance  the  iniquity.  The 
holy  man  gave  up  his  soul  to  God  in  peace,  on  the  25th  of  Febru- 
ary, 806,  after  having  sat  twenty-one  years  and  two  months. 

Reflection. — The  highest  praise  which  Scripture  pronounces 
on  the  holy  man  Job,  is  comprised  in  these  words,  "  He  was  sim- 
ple and  upright." 


T  the  age  of  twenty-five,  Porphyry,  a  rich  citizen  of  Thessa- 
lonica,  left  the  world  for  one  of  the  great  religious  houses 
in  the  desert  of  Scete.    Here  he  remained  five  years,  and 
then  finding  himself  drawn  to  a  more  solitary  life  passed  into  Pal- 

February  26.] 


I  I  I 

estine,  where  he  spent  a  similar  period  in  the  severest  penance, 
till  ill  health  obliged  him  to  moderate  his  austerities.  He  then 
made  his  home  in  Jerusalem,  and  in  spite  of  his  ailments  visited 
the  Holy  Places  every  day  ;  thinking,  says  his  biographer,  so  lit- 
tle of  his  sickness,  that  he  seemed  to  be  afflicted  in  another  body, 
and  not  his  own.  About  this  time  God  put  it  into  his  heart  to 
sell  all  he  had  and  give  to  the  poor,  and  then  in  reward  of  the  sac- 
rifice restored  him  by  a  miracle  to  perfect  health.  In  393  he  was 
ordained  priest,  and  intrusted  with  the  care  of  the  relics  of  the 
True  Cross  ;  three  years  later,  in  spite  of  all  the  resistance  his  hu- 

mility could  make,  he  was  consecrated  Bishop  of  Gaza.  That  city 
was  a  hot-bed  of  paganism,  and  Porphyry  found  in  it  an  ample 
scope  for  his  apostolic  zeal.  His  labors  and  the  miracles  which 
attended  them  effected  the  conversion  of  many  ;  and  an  imperial 
edict  for  the  destruction  of  the  temples,  obtained  through  the 
influence  of  St.  John  Chrysostom,  greatly  strengthened  his  hands. 
When  St.  Porphyry  first  went  to  Gaza,  he  found  there  one  temple 
more  splendid  than  the  rest,  in  honor  of  the  chief  god.  When 
the  edict  went  forth  to  destroy  all  traces  of  heathen  worship,  St. 
Porphyry  determined  to  put  Satan  to  special  shame  where  he  had 
received  special  honor.  A  Christian  church  was  built  upon  the 
site,  and  its  approach  was  paved  with  the  marbles  of  the  heathen 
temple.    Thus  every  worshipper  of  Jesus  Christ  trod  the  relics  of 



[February  27. 

idolatry  and  superstition  under  foot  each  time  he  went  to  assist 
at  the  Holy  Mass.  He  lived  to  see  his  diocese  for  the  most  part 
clear  of  idolatry,  and  died  a.d.  420. 

Reflection. — All  superstitious  searching  into  secret  things  is 
forbidden  by  the  first  commandment,  equally  with  the  worship  of 
any  false  god.  Let  us  ask  St.  Porphyry  for  a  great  zeal  in  keep- 
ing this  commandment,  lest  we  be  led  away,  as  so  many  are,  by 
a  curious  and  prying  mind. 


fT.  LEANDER  was  born  of  an  illustrious  family  at  Cartha- 
gena,  in  Spain.    He  was  the  eldest  of  five  brothers,  several 
of  whom  are  numbered  among  the  Saints.    He  entered  into 
a  monastery  very  young,  where  he  lived  many  years  and  attained 
to  an  eminent  degree  of  virtue  and  sacred  learning.    These  quali- 

ties occasioned  his  being  promoted  to  the  see  of  Seville  ;  but  his 
change  of  condition  made  little  or  no  alteration  in  his  method 
of  life,  though  it  brought  on  him  a  great  increase  of  care  and  soli- 
citude. Spain  at  that  time  was  in  possession  of  the  Visigoths. 
These  Goths  being  infected  with  Arianism,  established  this  heresy 
wherever  they  came  ;  so  that  when  St.  Leander  was  made  bishop, 

February  28.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  113 

it  had  reigned  in  Spain  a  hundred  years.  This  was  his  great 
affliction  ;  however,  by  his  prayers  to  God,  and  by  his  most  zealous 
and  unwearied  endeavors,  he  became  the  happy  instrument  of 
the  conversion  of  that  nation  to  the  Catholic  faith.  Having  con- 
verted, among  others,  Hermenegild,  the  king's  eldest  son  and  heir 
apparent,  Leander  was  banished  by  King  Leovigild.  This  pious 
prince  was  put  to  death  by  his  unnatural  father,  the  year  follow- 
ing, for  refusing  to  receive  communion  from  the  hands  of  an 
Arian  bishop.  But,  touched  with  remorse  not  long  after,  the  king 
recalled  our  Saint ;  and  falling  sick  and  finding  himself  past  hopes 
of  recovery,  he  sent  for  St.  Leander,  and  recommended  to  him  his 
son  Recared.  This  son,  by  listening  to  St.  Leander,  soon  became 
a  Catholic,  and  finally  converted  the  whole  nation  of  the  Visigoths. 
He  was  no  less  successful  with  respect  to  the  Suevi,  a  people  of 
Spain,  whom  his  father  Leovigild  had  perverted. 

St.  Leander  was  no  less  zealous  in  the  reformation  of  manners 
than  in  restoring  the  purity  of  faith ;  and  he  planted  the  seeds  of 
that  zeal  and  fervor  which  afterward  produced  so  many  Martyrs  and 
Saints.  This  holy  doctor  of  Spain  died  about  the  year  596,  on  the 
27th  of  February,  as  Mabillon  proves  from  his  epitaph.  The 
Church  of  Seville  has  been  a  metropolitan  see  ever  since  the  third 
century.  The  cathedral  is  the  most  magnificent,  both  as  to  struc- 
ture and  ornament,  of  any  in  all  Spain. 


OMANUS  at  thirty-five  years  of  age  left  his  relations  and 
spent  some  time  in  the  monastery  of  Ainay,  at  Lyons,  at 
the  great  church  at  the  conflux  of  the  Saone  and  Rhone 
which  the  faithful  had  built  over  the  ashes  of  the  famous  martyrs 
of  that  city ;  for  their  bodies  being  burnt  by  the  pagans,  their 
ashes  were  thrown  into  the  Rhone,  but  a  great  part  of  them  was 
gathered  by  the  Christians  and  deposited  in  this  place.  Romanus 
a  short  time  after  retired  into  the  forests  of  Mount  Jura,  between 
France  and  Switzerland,  and  fixed  his  abode  at  a  place  called  Con- 
date,  at  the  conflux  of  the  rivers  Bienne  and  Aliere,  where  he 
found  a  spot  of  ground  fit  for  culture,  and  some  trees  which 
furnished  him  with  a  kind  of  wild  fruit.  Here  he  spent  his 
time  in  praying,  reading,  and  laboring  for  his  subsistence.  Lu- 
picinus  his  brother  came  to  him  some  time  after  in  company 
with  others,  who  were  followed  by  several  more,  drawn  by  the 
fame  of  the  virtue  and  miracles  of  these  two  Saints.    Their  num- 



[February  29. 

bers  increasing  they  built  several  monasteries,  and  a  nunnery- 
called  La  Beaume,  which  no  men  were  allowed  ever  to  enter, 
and  where  St.  Romanus  chose  his  burial  place.  The  brothers 
governed  the  monks  jointly  and  in  great  harmony,  though  Lu- 
picinus  was  more  inclined  to  severity  of  the  two.  Lupicinus 
used  no  other  bed  than  a  chair  or  a  hard  board ;  never  touched 
wine,  and  would  scarce  ever  suffer  a  drop  either  of  oil  or  milk 
to  be  poured  on  his  pottage.  In  summer  his  subsistence  for 
many  years  was  only  hard  bread  moistened  in  cold  water,  so 
that  he  could  eat  it  with  a  spoon.  His  tunic  was  made  of 
various  skins  of  beasts  sewn  together,  with  a  cowl :  he  used 
wooden  shoes,  and  wore  no  stockings  unless*  when  he  was  obliged 
to  go  out  of  the  monastery.  St.  Romanus  died  about  the  year 
460,  and  St.  Lupicinus  survived  him  almost  twenty  years. 


SWALD  was  of  a  noble  Saxon  family,  and  was  endowed  with 
a  very  rare  and  beautiful  form  of  body  and  with  a  singular 
piety  of  soul.  He  was  brought  up  by  his  uncle,  St.  Odo,  Arch- 
bishop of  Canterbury,  and  was  chosen,  while  still  young,  dean  of  the 
secular  canons  of  Winchester,  then  very  relaxed.    His  attempt  to 
reform  them  was  a  failure ;  and  he  saw,  with  that  infallible  instinct 

March  I.] 



which  so  often  guides  the  Saints  in  critical  times,  that  the  true 
remedy  for  the  corruptions  of  the  clergy  was  the  restoration  of 
the  monastic  life.  He  therefore  went  to  France,  and  took  the 
habit  of  St.  Benedict ;  but  returned  only  to  receive  the  news  of 
Odo's  death.  He  found,  however,  a  new  patron  in  St.  Dunstan, 
now  Metropolitan,  through  whose  influence  he  was  nominated  to 
the  see  of  Worcester.  To  these  two  Saints,  together  with  Ethel- 
wold  of  Winchester,  the  monastic  revival  of  the  tenth  century  is 
mainly  due.  Oswald's  first  care  was  to  deprive  of  their  benefices 
the  disorderly  clerics,  whom  he  replaced  as  far  as  possible  by 
regulars,  and  himself  founded  seven  religious  houses.  Consider- 
ing that  in  the  hearts  of  the  secular  canons  there  were  yet  some 
sparks  of  virtue,  he  would  not  at  once  expel  them,  but  rather  en- 
trapped them  by  a  holy  artifice.  Adjoining  the  cathedral  he  built 
a  church  in  honor  of  the  Mother  of  God,  causing  it  to  be  served 
by  a  body  of  strict  religious.  He  himself  assisted  at  the  Divine 
Office  in  this  church,  and  his  example  was  followed  by  the  people. 
The  canons  finding  themselves  isolated,  and  their  cathedral  deserted, 
chose  rather  to  embrace  the  religious  life  than  to  continue  not 
only  to  injure  their  own  souls,  but  to  be  a  mockery  to  their  people 
by  reason  of  the  contrast  offered  by  their  worldliness  to  the  regu- 
larity of  their  religious  brethren.  As  Archbishop  of  York  a  like 
success  attended  St.  Oswald's  efforts ;  and  God  manifested  His 
approval  of  his  zeal  by  discovering  to  him  the  relics  of  his  great 
predecessor,  St.  Wilfrid,  which  he  reverently  translated  to  Wor- 
cester.   He  died  February  29th,  992. 

Reflection. — A  seul  without  discipline  is  like  a  ship  without 
a  helm  ;  she  must  inevitably  strike  unawares  upon  the  rocks, 
founder  on  the  shoals,  or  float  unknowingly  into  the  harbor  of 
the  enemy. 


T.  DAVID,  son  of  Sant,  prince  of  Cardigan  and  of  Non,  was 
born  in  that  country  in  the  fifth  century,  and  from  his  ear- 
liest years  gave  himself  wholly  to  the  service  of  God.  He 
began  his  religious  life  under  St.  Paulinus,  a  disciple  of  St.  Ger- 
manus,  Bishop  of  Auxerre,  who  had  been  sent  to  Britain  by  Pope 
St.  Celestine  to  stop  the  ravages  of  the  heresy  of  Pelagius,  at  that 
time  abbot,  as  it  is  said,  of  Bangor.  On  the  reappearance  of  that 
heresy,  in  the  beginning  of  the  sixth  century,  the  bishops  assent 
bled  at  Brevi,  and,  unable  to  address  the  people  that  came  to  hear 



[March  I 

the  word  of  truth.,  sent  for  St.  David  from  his  cell  to  preach  to 
them.  The  Saint  came,  and  it  is  related  that,  as  he  preached,  the 
ground  beneath  his  feet  rose  and  became  a  hill,  so  that  he  was 
heard  by  an  innumerable  crowd.  The  heresy  fell  under  the  sword 
of  the  spirit,  and  the  Saint  was  elected  Bishop  of  Caerleon  on  the 
resignation  of  St.  Dubricius;  but  he  removed  the  see  to  Menevia,- 
a  lone  and  desert  spot,  where  he  might  with  his  monks  serve  God 
away  from  the  noise  of  the  world.  He  founded  twelve  monaster- 
ies, and  governed  his  Church  according  to  the  canons  sanctioned 
in  Rome.  At  last,  when  about  eighty  years  of  age,  he  laid  him- 
self down,  knowing  that  his  hour  was  come.  As  his  agony  closed, 
our  Lord  stood  before  him  in  a  vision,  and  the  Saint  cried  out, 
"  Take  me  up  with  Thee,"  and  so  gave  up  his  soul  on  Tuesday, 
March  ist,  561 



T.  ALBINUS  was  of  an  ancient  and  noble  family  in  Brit- 
tany, and  from  his  childhood  was  fervent  in  every  exercise  of 
piety.   He  ardently  sighed  after  the  happiness  which  a  devout 
soul  finds  in  being  perfectly  disengaged  from  all  earthly  things. 

Having  embraced  the  monastic  state  at  Tintillant,  near  Angers,  he 
shone  a  perfect  model  of  virtue,  living  as  if  in  all  things  he  had  been 
without  any  will  of  his  own,  and  his  soul  seemed  so  perfectly 

March  2.J 



governed  by  the  spirit  of  Christ  as  to  live  only  for  Him.  At  the 
age  of  thirty-five  years  he  was  chosen  abbot,  in  504,  and  twenty- 
five  years  afterward,  bishop  of  Angers.  He  everywhere  restored 
discipline,  being  inflamed  with  a  holy  zeal  for  the  honor  of  God. 
His  dignity  seemed  to  make  no  alteration  either  in  his  mortifica- 
tions or  in  the  constant  recollection  of  his  soul.  Honored  by  all 
the  world,  even  by  kings,  he  was  never  affected  with  vanity. 
Powerful  in  works  and  miracles,  he  looked  upon  himself  as  the 
most  unworthy  and  most  unprofitable  among  the  servants  of  God, 
and  had  no  other  ambition  than  to  appear  such  in  the  eyes  of 
others  as  he  was  in  those  of  his  own  humility.  In  the  third  coun- 
cil of  Orleans,  in  538,  he  procured  the  thirtieth  canon  of  the  coun- 
cil of  Epaone  to  be  revived,  by  which  those  are  declared  excom- 
municated who  presume  to  contract  incestuous  marriages  in  the 
first  or  second  degree  of  consanguinity  or  affinity.  He  died  on 
the  1  st  of  March,  in  549. 

Reflection. — With  whatever  virtues  a  man  may  be  endowed, 
he  will  discover,  if  he  considers  himself  attentively,  a  sufficient 
depth  of  misery  to  afford  cause  for  deep  humility  ;  but  Jesus  Christ 
says,  "  He  that  humbleth  himself  shall  be  exalted." 


fT.  SIMPLICIUS  was  the  ornament  of  the  Roman  clergy 
under  SS.  Leo  and  Hilarius,  and  succeeded  the  latter  in 
the  pontificate  in  497.  He  was  raised  by  God  to  comfort 
and  support  his  Church  amidst  the  greatest  storms.  All  the  prov- 
inces of  the  Western  Empire,  out  of  Italy,  were  fallen  into  the 
hands  of  barbarians.  The  emperors  for  many  years  were  rather 
shadows  of  power  than  sovereigns,  and  in  the  eighth  year  of  the 
pontificate  of  Simplicius,  Rome  itself  fell  a  prey  to  foreigners. 
Italy,  by  oppressions  and  the  ravages  of  barbarians,  was  left  al- 
most a  desert  without  inhabitants ;  and  the  imperial  armies  con- 
sisted chiefly  of  barbarians,  hired  under  the  name  of  auxiliaries. 
These  soon  saw  their  masters  were  in  their  power.  The  Heruli  de- 
manded one-third  of  the  lands  of  Italy,  and,  upon  refusal,  chose  for 
their  leader  Odoacer,  one  of  the  lowest  extraction,  but  a  resolute  and 
intrepid  man,  who  was  proclaimed  king  at  Rome  in  476.  He  put 
to  death  Orestes,  who  was  regent  of  the  empire  for  his  son  Augus- 
tulus,  whom  the  senate  had  advanced  to  the  imperial  throne. 
Odoacer  spared  the  life  of  Augustulus,  and  appointed  him  a  salary 

1 18 


[March  2. 

of  six  thousand  pounds  of  gold,  and  permitted  him  to  live  at  full 
liberty  near  Naples.  Pope  Simplicius  was  wholly  taken  up  in  com- 
forting and  relieving  the  afflicted,  and  in  sowing  the  seeds  of  the 
Catholic  faith  among  the  barbarians.  The  East  gave  his  zeal  no  less 
employment  and  concern.  Peter  Cnapheus,  a  violent  Eutychian,  was 
made  by  the  heretics  patriarch  of  Antioch ;  and  Peter  Mongus,  one  of 
the  most  profligate  men,  that  of  Alexandria.  Acacius,  the  patriarch 
of  Constantinople,  received  the  sentence  of  St.  Simplicius  against 
Cnapheus,  but  supported  Mongus  against  him  and  the  Catholic 
Church,  and  was  a  notorious  changeling,  double  dealer,  and  artful 

hypocrite,  who  often  made  religion  serve  his  own  private  ends. 
St.  Simplicius  at  length  discovered  his  artifices,  and  redoubled  his 
zeal  to  maintain  the  holy  faith,  which  he  saw  betrayed  on  every 
side,  whilst  the  patriarchal  sees  of  Alexandria  and  Antioch  were 
occupied  by  furious  wolves,  and  there  was  not  one  Catholic  king 
in  the  whole  world.  The  emperor  measured  every  thing  by  his 
passions  and  human  views.  St.  Simplicius  having  sat  fifteen 
years,  eleven  months,  and  six  days,  went  to  receive  the  reward  of 
his  labors,  in  483.  He  was  buried  in  St.  Peter's  on  the  2d  of 

Reflection. — "  He  that  trusteth  in  God,  shall  fare  never  the 
•worse,"  saith  the  Wise  Man  in  the  Book  of  Ecclesiasticus. 

March  3.] 




Y§2?T.  CUNEGUNDES  was  the  daughter  of  Sigefride,  the  first 
Count  of  Luxemburgh,  and  Hadeswige,  his  pious  wife.  They 
instilled  into  her  from  her  cradle  the  most  tender  sentiments 
of  piety,  and  married  her  to  St.  Henry,  Duke  of  Bavaria,  who, 
upon  the  death  of  the  Emperor  Otho  III.,  was  chosen  king  of 
the  Romans,  and  crowned  on  the  6th  of  June,  1002.  She  was 
crowned  at  Paderborn  on  St.  Laurence's  day.  In  the  year  1014 
she  went  with  her  husband  to  Rome,  and  received  the  imperial 
crown  with  him  from  the  hands  of  Pope  Benedict  VIII.    She  had, 

by  St.  Henry's  consent  before  her  marriage,  made  a  vow  of  virgin- 
ity. Calumniators  afterward  made  vile  accusations  against  her, 
and  the  holy  empress,  to  remove  the  scandal  of  such  a  slander, 
trusting  in  God  to  prove  her  innocence,  walked  over  red-hot 
plough-shares  without  being  hurt.  The  emperor  condemned  his 
too  scrupulous  fears  and  credulity,  and  from  that  time  they  lived 
in  the  strictest  union  of  hearts,  conspiring  to  promote  in  every 
thing  God's  honor  and  the  advancement  of  piety. 

Going  once  to  make  a  retreat  in  Hesse,  she  fell  dangerously  ill, 
and  made  a  vow  to  found  a  monastery,  if  she  recovered,  at  Kaffun- 
gen,  nearCassel,  in  the  diocese  of  Paderborn,  which  she  executed 
in  a  stately  manner,  and  gave  it  to  nuns  of  the  Order  of  St.  Bene- 



[March  4. 

diet.  Before  it  was  finished  St.  Henry  died,  in  1024.  She  earnestly 
recommended  his  soul  to  the  prayers  of  others,  especially  to  her 
dear  nuns,  and  expressed  her  longing  desire  of  joining  them. 
She  had  already  exhausted  her  treasures  in  founding  bishoprics 
and  monasteries,  and  in  relieving  the  poor,  and  she  had  therefore 
little  now  left  to  give.  But  still  thirsting  to  embrace  perfect  evan- 
gelical poverty,  and  to  renounce  all  to  serve  God  without  obstacle, 
she  assembled  a  great  number  of  prelates  to  the  dedication  of  her 
church  of  Kaffungen  on  the  anniversary  day  of  her  husband's 
death,  1025,  and  after  the  Gospel  was  sung  at  Mass,  she  offered  on 
the  altar  a  piece  of  the  True  Cross,  and  then  putting  off  her  imperial 
robes,  clothed  herself  with  a  poor  habit :  her  hair  was  cut  off,  and 
the  bishop  put  on  her  a  veil,  and  a  ring  as  a  pledge  of  her  fidelity 
to  her  heavenly  spouse.  After  she  was  consecrated  to  God  in 
religion,  she  seemed  entirely  to  forget  that  she  had  been  empress, 
and  behaved  as  the  last  in  the  house,  being  persuaded  that  she  was 
so  before  God.  She  prayed  and  read  much,  worked  with  her 
hands,  and  took  a  singular  pleasure  in  visiting  and  comforting  the 
sick.  Thus  she  passed  the  fifteen  last  years  of  her  life.  Her  mor- 
tifications at  length  reduced  her  to  a  very  weak  condition,  and 
brought  on  her  last  sickness.  Perceiving  they  were  preparing  a 
cloth  fringed  with  gold  to  cover  her  corpse  after  her  death,  she 
changed  color  and  ordered  it  to  be  taken  away  ;  nor  could  she  be 
at  rest  till  she  was  promised  she  should  be  buried  as  a  poor  reli- 
gious in  her  habit.  She  died  on  the  3rd  of  March,  1040.  Her 
body  was  carried  to  Bamberg,  and  buried  near  that  of  her  husband. 
She  was  solemnly  canonized  by  Innocent  III.  in  1200. 

Reflection. — Detachment  of  the  mind,  at  least,  is  needful  to 
those  who  cannot  venture  on  an  effectual  renunciation.  "  So 
likewise  every  one  of  you,"  saith  Jesus  Christ,  "  that  doth  not  re- 
nounce all  that  he  possesseth,  cannot  be  my  disciple." 


ASIMIR,  the  second  son  of  Casimir  III.,  King  of  Poland, 
was  born  a.d.  1458.  From  the  custody  of  a  most  virtuous 
mother,  Elizabeth  of  Austria,  he  passed  to  the  guardianship 
of  a  devoted  master,  the  learned  and  pious  John  Dugloss.  Thus 
animated  from  his  earliest  years  by  precept  and  example,  his  inno- 
cence and  piety  soon  ripened  into  the  practice  of  heroic  virtue. 
At  the  age  of  twenty-five,  sick  of  a  lingering  illness,  he  foretold 

March  4.] 



the  hour  of  his  death,  and  chose  to  die  a  virgin  rather  than  take 
the  life  and  health  which  the  doctors  held  out  to  him  in  the  mar- 
ried state.  In  an  atmosphere  of  luxury  and  magnificence  the 
young  prince  had  fasted,  worn  a  hair  shirt,  slept  upon  the  bare 
earth,  prayed  by  night,  and  watched  for  the  opening  of  the  church- 
doors  at  dawn.  He  had  become  so  tenderly  devoted  to  the  Pas- 
sion of  our  Lord,  that  at  Mass  he  seemed  quite  rapt  out  of  himself, 
and  his  charity  to  the  poor  and  afflicted  knew  no  bounds.  His 
love  for  our  Blessed  Lady  he  expressed  in  a  long  and  beautiful 
hymn,  familiar  to  us  in  our  own  tongue.    The  miracles  wrought 

by  his  body  after  death  fill  a  volume.  The  blind  saw,  the  lame 
walked,  the  sick  were  healed,  a  dead  girl  was  raised  to  life.  And 
once  the  Saint  in  glory  led  his  countrymen  to  battle,  and  delivered 
them  by  a  glorious  victory  from  the  schismatic  Russian  hosts. 

One  hundred  and  twenty-two  years  after  his  death  the  Saint's 
tomb  in  the  cathedral  of  Vienna  was  opened,  that  the  holy  body 
might  be  transferred  to  the  rich  marble  chapel  where  it  now  lies. 
The  place  was  damp,  and  the  very  vault  crumbled  away  in  the 
hands  of  the  workmen ;  yet  the  Saint's  body,  wrapt  in  robes  of 
silk,  was  found  whole  and  incorrupt,  and  emitted  a  sweet  fragrance, 
which  filled  the  church  and  refreshed  all  who  were  present. 
Under  his  head  was  found  his  hymn  to  our  Lady,  which  he  had 
had  buried  with  him.    The  following  night  three  young  men  saw 



[March  5. 

a  brilliant  light  issuing  from  the  open  tomb  and  streaming  through 
the  windows  of  the  chapel. 

Reflection. — Let  the  study  of  St.  Casimir's  life  make  us  in- 
crease in  devotion  to  the  most  pure  Mother  of  God,  a  sure  means 
of  preserving  holy  purity. 


tN  the  seventh  year  of  Dioclesian's  persecution,  continued  by 
Galerius  Maximianus,  when  Firmilian,  the  most  bloody  gov- 
ernor of  Palestine,  had  stained  Caesarea  with  the  blood  of  many 
illustrious  martyrs,  Adrian  and  Eubulus  came  out  of  the  country 
called  Magantia,  to  Caesarea,  in  order  to  visit  the  holy  confessors 
there.  At  the  gates  of  the  city  they  were  asked,  as  others  were, 
whither  they  were  going,  and  upon  what  errand  ?  They  ingenuously 
confessed  the  truth,  and  were  brought  before  the  president,  who  or- 
dered them  to  be  tortured,  and  their  sides  to  be  torn  with  iron  hooks, 
and  then  condemned  them  to  be  exposed  to  wild  beasts.   Two  days 

after,  when  the  pagans  at  Caesarea  celebrated  the  festival  of  the 
public  Genius,  Adrian  was  exposed  to  a  lion,  and  not  being  de- 
spatched by  that  beast,  hut  only  mangled,  was  at  length  killed  by  the 
sword.    Eubulus  was  treated  in  the  same  manner  two  days  later. 

March  6.] 



The  judge  offered  him  his  liberty  if  he  would  sacrifice  to  idols ;  but 
the  Saint  preferred  a  glorious  death,  and  was  the  last  that  suffered 
in  this  persecution  at  Caesarea,  which  had  now  continued  twelve 
years  under  three  successive  governors,  Flavian,  Urban,  and  Fir- 
milian.  Divine  vengeance  pursuing  the  cruel  Firmilian,  he  was 
that  same  year  beheaded  for  his  crimes,  by  the  emperor's  order,  as 
his  predecessor  Urban  had  been  two  years  before. 

Reflection. — It  is  in  vain  that  we  take  the  name  of  Christians, 
or  pretend  to  follow  Christ,  unless  we  carry  our  crosses  after  Him. 
It  is  in  vain  that  we  hope  to  share  in  His  glory,  and  in  His  king- 
dom, if  we  accept  not  the  condition.  We  cannot  arrive  at  heaven 
by  any  other  road  but  that  which  Christ  held,  who  bequeathed  His 
cross  to  all  His  elect  as  their  portion  and  inheritance  in  this  world. 


FTER  a  holy  childhood,  Colette  joined  a  society  of  devout 
women  called  the  Beguines;  but  not  finding  their  state  suffi- 
ciently austere,  she  entered  the  Third  Order  of  St.  Francis, 
and  lived  in  a  hut  near  her  parish  church  of  Corbie  in  Picardy. 
Here  she  had  passed  four  years  of  extraordinary  penance,  when 
St.  Francis,  in  a  vision,  bade  her  undertake  the  reform  of  her 
Order,  then  much  relaxed.  Armed  with  due  authority,  she  estab- 
lished her  reform  throughout  a  large  part  of  Europe,  and,  in  spite 
of  the  most  violent  opposition,  founded  seventeen  convents  of  the 
strict  observance.  By  the  same  wonderful  prudence  she  assisted 
in  healing  the  great  schism  which  then  afflicted  the  Church.  The 
fathers  in  council  at  Constance  were  in  doubt  how  to  deal  with 
the  three  claimants  to  the  tiara — John  XXIII.,  Benedict  XIII.,  and 
Gregory  XII.  At  this  crisis  Colette,  together  with  St.  Vincent 
Ferrer,  wrote  to  the  fathers  to  depose  Benedict  XIII.,  who  alone 
refused  his  consent  to  a  new  election.  This  was  done,  and  Martin 
V.  was  elected,  to  the  great  good  of  the  Church.  Colette  equally 
assisted  the  Council  of  Basle  by  her  advice  and  prayers;  and  when, 
later,  God  revealed  to  her  the  spirit  of  revolt  that  was  rising,  she 
warned  the  bishops  and  legates  to  retire  from  the  Council.  St. 
Colette  never  ceased  to  pray  for  the  Church,  while  the  devils,  in 
turn,  never  ceased  to  assault  her.  They  swarmed  round  her  as 
hideous  insects,  buzzing  and  stinging  her  tender  skin.  They 
brought  into  her  cell  the  decaying  corpses  of  public  criminals, 
and  assuming  themselves  monstrous  forms  struck  her  savage 



[March  7. 

blows;  or  they  would  appear  in  the- most  seductive  guise,  and 
tempt  her  by  many  deceits  to  sin.  St.  Colette  once  complained  to 
our  Lord  that  the  demons  prevented  her  from  praying.  "  Cease, 
then,"  said  the  devil  to  her,  "your  prayers  to  the  great  Master  of 
the  Church,  and  we  will  cease  to  torment  you ;  for  you  torment 
us  more  by  your  prayers  than  we  do  you."  Yet  the  virgin  of  Christ 
triumphed  alike  over  their  threats  and  allurements,  and  said  she 
would  count  that  day  the  unhappiest  of  her  life  in  which  she  suf- 
fered nothing  for  her  God.  She  died  March  6th,  1447,  in  a  trans- 
port of  intercession  for  sinners  and  the  Church. 

Reflection. — One  of  the  greatest  tests  of  being  a  good  Catholic 
is  zeal  for  the  Church  and  devotion  to  Christ's  Vicar. 


T.  THOMAS  was  born  of  noble  parents  at  Aquino,  in  Italy, 
a.d.  1226.  At  the  age  of  nineteen  he  received  the  Domini- 
can habit  at  Naples,  where  he  was  studying.  Seized  by  his 
brothers  on  his  way  to  Paris,  he  suffered  a  two  years'  captivity  in 
their  castle  of  Rocca-Secca;  but  neither  the  caresses  of  his  mother 
and  sisters,  nor  the  threats  and  stratagems  of  his  brothers,  could 
shake  him  in  his  vocation.  While  St.  Thomas  was  in  confinement 
at  Rocca-Secca,  his  brothers  endeavored  to  entrap  him  into  sin,  but 

March  7.] 



the  attempt  only  ended  in  the  triumph  of  his  purity.  Snatching 
from  the  hearth  a  burning  brand,  the  Saint  drove  from  his  chamber 
the  wretched  creature  whom  they  had  there  concealed.  Then  mark- 
ing a  cross  upon  the  wall,  he  knelt  down  to  pray,  and  forthwith,  be- 
ing rapt  in  ecstasy,  an  angel  girded  him  with  a  cord,  in  token  of  the 
gift  of  perpetual  chastity  which  God  had  given  him.  The  pain 
caused  by  the  girdle  was  so  sharp  that  St.  Thomas  uttered  a  pierc- 
ing cry,  which  brought  his  guards  into  the  room.  But  he  never 
told  this  grace  to  any  one  save  only  to  Father  Raynald,  his  con- 
fessor, a  little  while  before  his  death.    Hence  originated  the  Con- 

fraternity of  the  "Angelic  Warfare,"  for  the  preservation  of  the 
virtue  of  chastity.  Having  at  length  escaped,  St.  Thomas  went  to 
Cologne  to  study  under  Blessed  Albert  the  Great,  and  after  that 
to  Paris,  where  for  many  years  he  taught  philosophy  and  theology. 
The  Church  has  ever  venerated  his  numerous  writings  as  a  treas- 
ure-house of  sacred  doctrine  ;  while  in  naming  him  the  Angelic 
Doctor,  she  has  indicated  that  his  science  is  more  divine  than 
human.  The  rarest  gifts  of  intellect  were  combined  in  him  with 
the  tenderest  piety.  Prayer,  he  said,  had  taught  him  more  than 
study.  His  singular  devotion  to  the  Blessed  Sacrament  shines 
forth  in  the  Office  and  hymns  for  Corpus  Christi,  which  he  com- 
posed. To  the  words  miraculously  uttered  by  a  crucifix  at  Naples, 
"  Well  hast  thou  written  concerning  Me,  Thomas ;  what  shall  I 



[March  8. 

give  thee  as  a  reward?"  he  replied,  "Nought  save  Thyself,  O 
Lord."  He  died  at  Fossa-Nuova,  a.d.  1274,  on  his  way  to  the 
General  Council  of  Lyons,  to  which  Pope  Gregory  X.  had  sum- 
moned him. 

Reflection. — The  knowledge  of  God  is  for  all,  but  hidden 
treasures  are  reserved  for  those  who  have  ever  followed  the  Lamb. 



OTHING  in  John's  earlylife  foreshadowed  his  future  sanctity. 
He  ran  away  as  a  boy  from  his  home  in  Portugal,  tended 
sheep  and  cattle  in  Spain,  and  served  as  a  soldier  against 
the  French,  and  afterwards  against  the  Turks.    When  about  forty 

years  of  age,  feeling  remorse  for  his  wild  life,  he  resolved  to  de- 
vote himself  to  the  ransom  of  the  Christian  slaves  in  Africa,  and 
went  thither  with  the  family  of  an  exiled  noble,  which  he  main- 
tained by  his  labor.  On  his  return  to  Spain  he  sought  to  do  good 
by  selling  holy  pictures  and  books  at  low  prices.  At  length  the 
hour  of  grace  struck.  At  Granada,  a  sermon,  by  the  celebrated 
John  of  Avila,  shook  his  soul  to  its  depths,  and  his  expressions  of 
self-abhorrence  were  so  extraordinary  that  he  was  taken  to  the 
asylum  as  one  mad.    There  he  employed  himself  in  ministering 

March  9.] 



to  the  sick.  On  leaving  he  began  to  collect  homeless  poor,  and 
to  support  them  by  his  work  and  by  begging.  One  night,  St. 
John  found  in  the  streets  a  poor  man  who  seemed  near  death,  and, 
as  was  his  wont,  he  carried  him  to  the  hospital,  laid  him  on  a  bed, 
and  went  to  fetch  water  to  wash  his  feet.  When  he  had  washed 
them,  he  knelt  to  kiss  them,  and  started  with  awe;  the  feet  were 
pierced,  and  the  print  of  the  nails  bright  with  an  unearthly  radi- 
ance. He  raised  his  eyes  to  look,  and  heard  the  words,  "  John,  to 
Me  thou  doest  all  that  thou  doest  to  the  poor  in  My  name  ;  I  reach 
forth  My  hand  for  the  alms  thou  givest ;  Me  dost  thou  clothe, 
Mine  are  the  feet  thou  dost  wash."  And  then  the  gracious  vision 
disappeared,  leaving  St.  John  filled  at  once  with  confusion  and 
consolation.  The  bishop  became  the  Saint's  patron,  and  gave  him 
the  name  of  John  of  God.  When  his  hospital  was  on  fire,  John 
was  seen  rushing  about  uninjured  amidst  the  flames  until  he  had 
rescued  all  his  poor.  After  ten  years  spent  in  the  service  of  the 
suffering,  the  Saint's  life  was  fitly  closed.  He  plunged  into  the 
river  Xenil  to  save  a  drowning  boy,  and  died  a.d.  1550  of  an  ill- 
ness brought  on  by  the  attempt,  at  the  age  of  fifty-five. 

Reflection. — God  often  rewards  men  for  works  that  are  pleas- 
ing in  His  sight  by  giving  them  grace  and  opportunity  to  do  other 
works  higher  still.  St.  John  of  God  used  to  attribute  his  conver- 
sion, and  the  graces  which  enabled  him  to  do  such  great  works,  to 
his  self-denying  charity  in  Africa. 


g^RANCES  was  born  at  Rome  in  1384.  Her  parents  were  of 
id  high  rank.  They  overruled  her  desire  to  become  a  nun,  and 
at  twelve  years  of  age  married  her  to  Lorenzo  Ponziano,  a 
Roman  noble.  During  the  forty  years  of  their  married  life  they 
never  had  a  disagreement.  While  spending  her  days  in  retirement 
and  prayer,  she  attended  promptly  to  every  household  duty,  saying, 
"  A  married  woman  must  leave  God  at  the  altar  to  find  Him  in  her 
domestic  cares;"  and  she  once  found  the  verse  of  a  psalm  in  which 
she  had  been  four  times  thus  interrupted  completed  for  her  in 
letters  of  gold.  Her  ordinary  food  was  dry  bread.  Secretly  she 
would  exchange  with  beggars  good  food  for  their  hard  crusts ; 
her  drink  was  water,  and  her  cup  a  human  skull.  During  the  in- 
vasion of  Rome,  in  1413,  Ponziano  was  banished,  his  estates  con- 
fiscated, his  house  destroyed,  and  his  eldest  son  taken  as  a  hostage. 
Frances  saw  in  these  losses  only  the  finger  of  God,  and  blessed 



[March  IO. 

His  holy  name.  When  peace  was  .restored  Ponziano  recovered 
his  estates,  and  Frances  founded  the  Oblates.  After  her  husband's 
death,  barefoot,  and  with  a  cord  about  her  neck,  she  begged  ad- 
mission to  the  community,  and  was  soon  elected  Superioress.  She 
lived  always  in  the  presence  of  God,  and  amongst  many  visions 
was  given  constant  sight  of  her  angel  guardian,  who  shed  such  a 
brightness  around  him  that  the  Saint  could  read  her  midnight 
Office  by  this  light  alone.  He  shielded  her  in  the  hour  of  temp- 
tation, and  directed  her  in  every  good  act.  But  when  she  was  be- 
trayed into  some  defect,  he  faded  from  her  sight ;  and  when  some 
light  words  were  spoken  before  her,  he  covered  his  face  in  shame. 
She  died  on  the  day  she  had  foretold,  March  9th,  1440. 

Reflection. — God  has  appointed  an  angel  to  guard  each  one 
of  us,  to  whose  warnings  we  are  bound  to  attend.  Let  us  listen  to 
his  voice  here,  and  we  shall  see  him  hereafter,  when  he  leads  us 
before  the  throne  of  God. 


HE  FORTY  MARTYRS  were  soldiers  quartered  at  Sebaste,  in 
Armenia,  about  the  year  320.    When  their  legion  was  ordered 
to  offer  sacrifice  they  separated  themselves  from  the  rest, 
and  formed  a  company  of  martyrs.    After  they  had  been  torn  by 

March  io.] 



scourges  and  iron  hooks  they  were  chained  together,  and  led  to  a 
lingering  death.  It  was  a  cruel  winter,  and  they  were  condemned 
to  he  naked  on  the  icy  surface  of  a  pond  in  the  open  air  till  thev 
were  frozen  to  death.  But  they  ran  undismayed  to  the  place  of 
their  combat,  joyfully  stripped  off  their  garments,  and  with  one 
voice  besought  God  to  keep  their  ranks  unbroken  «  Forty  "  they 
cried,  "we  have  come  to  combat;  grant  that  forty  may  be 
crowned."  There  were  warm  baths  hard  by,  ready  for  any  one 
amongst  them  who  would  deny  Christ.  The'soldier  who  watched 
saw  angels  descending  with  thirty-nine  crowns,  and  while  he  won- 

dered at  the  deficiency  in  the  number,  one  of  the  confessors  lost 
heart,  renounced  his  faith,  and,  crawling  to  the  fire,  died  body  and 
soul  at  the  spot  where  he  expected  relief.  But  the  soldier  was  in- 
spired to  confess  Christ  and  take  his  place,  and  again  the  number 
of  forty  was  complete.  They  remained  steadfast  while  their  limbs 
grew  stiff  and  frozen,  and  died  one  by  one.  Among  the  Forty 
there  was  a  young  soldier  who  held  out  longest  against  the  cold, 
and  when  the  officers  came  to  cart  away  the  dead  bodies  they 
found  him  still  breathing.  They  were  moyed  with  pity,  and 
wanted  to  leaye  him  aliye,  in  the  hope  that  he  would  still  change 
his  mind.  But  his  mother  stood  by,  and  this  valiant  woman  could 
not  bear  to  see  her  son  separated  from  the  band  of  martyrs.  She 
exhorted  him  to  persevere,  and  lifted  his  frozen  body  into  the  cart. 



[March  II. 

He  was  just  able  to  make  a  sign  of  recognition,  and  was  borne 
away,  to  be  thrown  into  the  flames  with  the  dead  bodies  of  his 

Reflection. — All  who  live  the  life  of  grace  are  one  in  Christ. 
But  besides  this  there  are  many  special  ties — of  religion,  of  com- 
munity life,  or  at  least  of  aspirations  in  prayer,  and  pious  works. 
Thank  God  if  He  has  bound  you  to  others  by  these  spiritual  ties ; 
remember  the  character  you  have  to  support,  and  pray  that  the 
bond  which  unites  you  here  may  last  for  eternity. 


T.  EULOGIUS  was  of  a  senatorian  family  of  Cordova,  at 
that  time  the  capital  of  the  Moors  in  Spain.  Our  Saint  was 
educated  among  the  clergy  of  the  church  of  St.  Zoilus,  a 
martyr  who  suffered  with  nineteen  others  under  Dioclesian.  Here 
he  distinguished  himself  by  his  virtue  and  learning;  and  being 
made  priest,  was  placed  at  the  head  of  the  chief  ecclesiastical 
school  at  Cordova.  He  joined  assiduous  watching,  fasting,  and 
prayer  to  his  studies,  .and  his  humility,  mildness,  and  charity 
gained  him  the  affection  and  respect  of  every  one.  During  the 
persecution  raised  against  the  Christians  in  the  year  850,  St.  Eu- 
logius  was  thrown  into  prison  and  there  wrote  his  Exhortation 
to  Martyrdom,  addressed  to  the  virgins  Flora  and  Mary,  who  were 
beheaded  the  24th  of  November,  851.  Six  days  after  their  death 
Eulogius  was  set  at  liberty.  In  the  year  852,  several  others  suf- 
fered the  like  martyrdom.  St.  Eulogius  encouraged  all  these  mar- 
tyrs to  their  triumphs,  and  was  the  support  of  that  distressed  flock. 
The  Archbishop  of  Toledo  dying  in  858,  St.  Eulogius  was  elect- 
ed to  succeed  him ;  but  there  was  some  obstacle  that  hindered 
him  from  being  consecrated,  though  he  did  not  outlive  his  elec- 
tion two  months.  A  virgin,  by  name  Leocritia,  of  a  noble  family 
among  the  Moors,  had  been  instructed  from  her  infancy  in  the 
Christian  religion  by  one  of  her  relations,  and  privately  baptized. 
Her  father  and  mother  used  her  very  ill,  and  scourged  her  day  and 
night  to  compel  her  to  renounce  the  faith.  Having  made  her  con- 
dition known  to  St.  Eulogius  and  his  sister  Anulona,  intimating 
that  she  desired  to  go  where  she  might  freely  exercise  her  relig- 
ion, they  secretly  procured  her  the  means  of  getting  away,  and 
concealed  her  for  some  time  among  faithful  friends.  But  the  mat- 
ter was  at  length  discovered,  and  they  were  all  brought  before  the 

March  ii.] 



cadi,  who  threatened  to  have  Eulogius  scourged  to  death.  The 
Saint  told  him  that  his  torments  would  be  of  no  avail,  for  he 
would  never  change  his  religion.  Whereupon  the  cadi  gave 
orders  that  he  should  be  carried  to  the  palace,  and  presented 
before  the  king's  council.  Eulogius  began  boldly  to  propose 
the  truths  of  the  gospel  to  them.  But  to  prevent  their  hear- 
ing him,  the  council  condemned  him  immediately  to  lose  his 
head.  As  they  were  leading  him  to  execution,  one  of  the  guards 
gave  him  a  blow  on  the  face  for  having  spoken  against  Mahomet; 

he  turned  the  other  cheek,  and  patiently  received  a  second.  He 
received  the  stroke  of  death  with  great  cheerfulness,  on  the  nth 
of  March,  859.  St.  Leocritia  was  beheaded  four  days  after  him, 
and  her  body  thrown  into  the  river  Guadalquivir,  but  taken  out 
by  the  Christians. 

Reflection. — Beg  of  God,  through  the  intercession  of  these 
holy  martyrs,  the  gift  of  perseverance.  Their  example  will  supply 
you  with  an  admirable  rule  for  obtaining  this  crowning  gift.  Re- 
member that  you  have  renounced  the  world  and  the  devil  once  for 
all  at  your  baptism.  Do  not  hesitate;  do  not  look  back;  do  not 
listen  to  suggestions  against  faith  or  virtue.  But  advance,  day  by 
day,  along  the  road  which  you  have  chosen,  to  God,  who  is  your 
portion  forever. 



[March  12. 


/fej^  REGORY  was  a  Roman  of  noble  birth,  and  while  still  young 
^kyr  was  Governor  of  Rome.  On  his  father's  death  he  gave  his 
great  wealth  to  the  poor,  turned  his  house  on  the  Ccelian 
Hill  into  a  monastery,  which  now  bears  his  name,  and  for  some 
years  lived  as  a  perfect  monk.  The  Pope  drew  him  from  his  se- 
clusion to  make  him  one  of  the  seven  deacons  of  Rome  ;  and  he 
did  great  service  to  the  Church  for  many  years  as  what  we  now 
call  Nuncio  to  the  imperial  court  at  Constantinople.  While  still 
a  monk  the  Saint  was  struck  with  some  boys  who  were  exposed 

for  sale  in  Rome,  and  heard  with  sorrow  that  they  were  Pagans. 
"  And  of  what  race  are  they  ?"  he  asked.  "  They  are  Angles." 
"  Worthy  indeed  to  be  Angels  of  God,"  said  he  ;  "and  of  what 
province  ?"  "  Of  Deira,"  was  the  reply.  "  Truly  must  we  rescue 
them  from  the  wrath  of  God.  And  what  is  the  name  of  their 
king?"  "  He  is  called  Ella."  "  It  is  well,"  said  Gregory ;  "Alleluia 
must  be  sung  in  their  land  to  God."  He  at  once  got  leave  from 
the  Pope,  and  had  set  out  to  convert  the  English,  when  the  mur- 
murs of  the  people  led  the  Pope  to  recall  him.  Still  the  Angles 
were  not  forgotten,  and  one  of  the  Saint's  first  cares  as  Pope  was 
to  send  from  his  own  monastery  St.  Augustine  and  other  monks  to 
England.    On  the  death  of  Pope  Pelagius  II.,  Gregory  was  com- 

March  13.] 



pelled  to  take  government  of  the  Church,  and  for  fourteen  years 
his  pontificate  was  a  perfect  model  of  ecclesiastical  rule.  He  healed 
schisms,  revived  discipline  ;  saved  Italy  by  converting  the  wild 
Arian  Lombards  who  were  laying  it  waste  ;  aided  in  the  conver- 
sion of  the  Spanish  and  French  Goths,  who  were  also  Arians  ;  and 
kindled  anew  in  Britain  the  light  of  the  Faith  which  the  English 
had  put  out  in  blood.  He  set  in  order  the  Church's  prayers  and 
chant,  guided  and  consoled  her  pastors  with  innumerable  letters, 
and  preached  incessantly,  most  effectually  by  his  own  example.  He 
died  a.d.  604,  worn  out  by  austerities  and  toils  ;  and  the  Church 
reckons  him  one  of  her  four  great  doctors,  and  reveres  him  as  St. 
Gregory  the  Great. 

Reflection. — The  champions  of  faith  prove  the  truth  of  their 
teaching  no  less  by  the  holiness  of  their  lives  than  by  the  force  of 
their  arguments.  Never  forget  that  to  convert  others  you  must 
first  see  to  your  own  soul. 

jTjo?  UPHRASIA  was  the  daughter  of  pious  and  noble  parents. 

£jj  After  the  death  of  her  father,  his  widow  withdrew  privately 

with  her  little  daughter,  into  Egypt,  where  she  was  possessed 
of  a  very  large  estate.  In  that  country  she  fixed  her  abode  near 
a  holy  monastery  of  one  hundred  and  thirty  nuns.  The  young 
Euphrasia,  at  seven  years  of  age,  begged  that  she  might  be 
permitted  to  serve  God  in  this  monastery.  The  pious  mother 
on  hearing  this  wept  for  joy,  and  not  long  after  presented  her 
child  to  the  abbess,  who,  taking  up  an  image  of  Christ,  gave  it 
to  Euphrasia.  The  tender  virgin  kissed  it,  saying,  "  By  vow  I  con- 
secrate myself  to  Christ."  Then  the  mother  led  her  before  an  im- 
age of  our  Redeemer,  and  lifting  up  her  hands  to  heaven  said, 
"  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  receive  this  child  under  your  special  protection. 
You  alone  doth  she  love  and  seek  :  to  you  doth  she  recommend 
herself."  Then  leaving  her  in  the  hands  of  the  abbess,  she  went 
out  of  the  monastery  weeping.  Some  time  after  this  the  good 
mother  fell  sick,  and  soon  slept  in  peace.  Upon  the  news  of  her 
death,  the  Emperor  Theodosius  sent  for  the  noble  virgin  to  court, 
having  promised  her  in  marriage  to  a  favorite  young  senator.  But 
the  virgin  wrote  him  refusing  the  alliance,  repeating  her  vow  of 
virginity,  and  requesting  that  her  estates  should  be  sold  and  divided 
among  the  poor,  and  all  her  slaves  set  at  liberty.    The  Emperor 




[March  14. 

punctually  executed  all  she  desired,  a  little  before  his  death  in  395. 
St.  Euphrasia  was  a  perfect  pattern  of  humility,  meekness,  and 
charity.  If  she  found  herself  assaulted  by  any  temptation,  she  im- 
mediately sought  the  advice  of  the  abbess,  who  often  enjoined  her 
on  such  occasions  some  humbling  and  painful  penitential  labor ; 
as  sometimes  to  carry  great  stones  from  one  place  to  another  ; 
which  employment  she  once,  under  an  obstinate  assault,  continued 
thirty  days  together  with  wonderful  simplicity,  till  the  devil,  being 
vanquished  by  her  humble  obedience  and  chastisement  of  her 
body,  left  her  in  peace.  She  was  favored  with  miracles  both 
before  and  after  her  death,  which  happened  in  the  year  410,  and 
the  thirtieth  of  her  age. 


HIS  princess  was  daughter  of  Theodoric,  a  powerful  Saxon 
count.  Her  parents  placed  her  very  young  in  the  monas- 
tery of  Erford,  of  which  her  grandmother  Maud  was  then 
abbess.  Our  Saint  remained  in  that  house,  an  accomplished  model 
of  all  virtues,  till  her  parents  married  her  to  Henry,  son  of  Otho, 
Duke  of  Saxony,  in  913,  who  was  afterwards  chosen  king  of  Ger- 
many. He  was  a  pious  and  victorious  prince,  and  very  tender  of 
his  subjects.    Whilst  by  his  arms  he  checked  the  insolence  of  the 

March  14.] 



Hungarians  and  Danes,  and  enlarged  his  dominions  by  adding  to 
them  Bavaria,  Maud  gained  domestic  victories  over  her  spiritual 
enemies  more  worthy  of  a  Christian,  and  far  greater  in  the  eyes 
of  heaven.  She  nourished  the  precious  seeds  of  devotion  and 
humility  in  her  heart  by  assiduous  prayer  and  meditation.  It 
was  her  delight  to  visit,  comfort,  and  exhort  the  sick  and  the 
afflicted ;  to  serve  and  instruct  the  poor,  and  to  afford  her  chari- 
table succors  to  prisoners.  Her  husband,  edified  by  her  example, 
concurred  with  her  in  every  pious  undertaking  which  she  pro- 
jected.   After  twenty-three  years'  marriage,  God  was  pleased  to 

call  the  king  to  himself,  936.  Maud,  during  his  sickness,  went  to 
the  church  to  pour  forth  her  soul  in  prayer  for  him  at  the  foot  of 
the  altar.  As  soon  as  she  understood,  by  the  tears  and  cries  of  the 
people,  that  he  had  expired,  she  called  for  a  priest  that  was  fasting 
to  offer  the  holy  sacrifice  for  his  soul.  She  had  three  sons  ;  Otho, 
afterward  emperor;  Henry,  Duke  of  Bavaria,  and  St.  Brunn,  Arch- 
bishop of  Cologne.  Otho  was  crowned  king  of  Germany  in  937, 
and  emperor  at  Rome  in  962,  after  his  victories  over  the  Bohe- 
mians and  Lombards.  The  two  oldest  sons  conspired  to  strip  Maud 
of  her  dowry,  on  the  unjust  pretence  that  she  had  squandered 
the  revenues  of  the  state  on  the  poor.  The  unnatural  princes  at 
length  repented  of  their  injustice,  and  restored  to  her  all  that  had 
been  taken  from  her.    She  then  became  more  liberal  in  her  alms 



[March  15. 

than  ever,  and  founded  many  churches,  with  five  monasteries.  In 
her  last  sickness  she  made  her  confession  to  her  grandson  William, 
the  Archbishop  of  Mentz,  who  yet  died  twelve  days  before  her,  on 
his  road  home.  She  again  made  a  public  confession  before  the 
priests  and  monks  of  the  place,  received  a  second  time  the  last 
sacraments,  and  lying  on  a  sackcloth,  with  ashes  on  her  head,  died 
on  the  14th  of  March  in  968. 

Reflection. — The  beginning  of  true  virtue  is  most  ardently  to 
desire  it,  and  to  ask  it  of  God  with  the  utmost  assiduity  and  ear- 
nestness. Fervent  prayer,  holy  meditation,  and  reading  pious 
books,  are  the  principal  means  by  which  this  virtue  is  to  be  con- 
stantly improved,  and  the  interior  life  of  the  soul  to  be  strength- 


fT.  ZACHARY  succeeded  Gregory  III.,  in  741,  and  was  a 
man  of  singular  meekness  and  goodness.     He  loved  the 
clergy  and  people  of  Rome  to  that  degree  that  he  hazarded 
his  life  for  them  on  occasion  of  the  troubles  which  Italy  fell  into 

by  the  rebellion  of  the  Dukes  of  Spoletto  and  Benevento  against 
King  Luitprand.  Out  of  respect  to  his  sanctity  and  dignity,  that 
king  restored  to  the  Church  of  Rome  all  the  places  which  belonged 

March  16.] 



to  it,  and  sent  back  the  captives  without  ransom.  The  Lombards 
were  moved  to  tears  at  the  devotion  with  which  they  heard  him 
perform  the  divine  service.  The  zeal  and  prudence  of  this  holy 
Pope  appeared  in  many  wholesome  regulations,  which  he  had 
made  to  reform  or  settle  the  discipline  and  peace  of  several 
churches.  St.  Boniface,  the  Apostle  of  Germany,  wrote  to  him 
against  a  certain  priest,  named  Virgilius ;  that  he  labored  to  sow 
the  seeds  of  discord  between  him  and  Odilo,  Duke  of  Bavaria,  and 
taught,  besides,  many  errors.  Zachary  ordered  that  Virgilius  should 
be  sent  to  Rome,  that  his  doctrine  might  be  examined.  It  seems 
that  he  cleared  himself ;  for  we  find  this  same  Virgilius  soon  after 
made  Bishop  of  Salzburgh.  Certain  Venetian  merchants  having 
bought  at  Rome  many  slaves  to  sell  to  the  Moors  in  Africa,  St. 
Zachary  forbade  such  an  iniquitous  traffic,  and  paying  the  mer- 
chants their  price,  gave  the  slaves  their  liberty.  He  adorned 
Rome  with  sacred  buildings,  and  with  great  foundations  in  favor 
of  the  poor  and  pilgrims,  and  gave  every  year  a  considerable  sum 
to  furnish  oil  for  the  lamps  in  St.  Peter's  Church.  He  died  in  752, 
in  the  month  of  March. 


tBRAHAM  was  a  rich  nobleman  of  Edessa.  At  his  parents' 
desire  he  married,  but  escaped  to  a  cell  near  the  city  as 
soon  as  the  feast  was  over.  He  walled  up  the  cell-door, 
leaving  only  a  small  window  through  which  he  received  his  food. 
There  for  fifty  years  he  sang  God's  praises  and  implored  mercy 
for  himself  and  for  all  men.  The  wealth  which  fell  to  him  on  his 
parents'  death  he  gave  to  the  poor.  As  many  sought  him  for 
advice  and  consolation,  the  Bishop  of  Edessa,  in  spite  of  his  hu- 
mility, ordained  him  priest.  St.  Abraham  was  sent,  soon  after  his 
ordination,  to  an  idolatrous  city  which  had  hitherto  been  deaf  to 
every  messenger.  He  was  insulted,  beaten,  and  three  times 
banished,  but  he  returned  each  time  with  fresh  zeal.  For  three 
years  he  pleaded  with  God  for  those  souls,  and  in  the  end  pre- 
vailed. Every  citizen  came  to  him  for  baptism.  After  providing 
for  their  spiritual  needs,  he  went  back  to  his  cell  more  than  ever 
convinced  of  the  power  of  prayer.  His  brother  died,  leaving  an 
only  daughter,  Mary,  to  the  Saint's  care.  He  placed  her  in  a  cell 
near  his  own,  and  devoted  himself  to  training  her  in  perfection. 
After  twenty  years  of  innocence  she  fell,  and  fled  in  despair  to  a 
distant  city,  where  she  drowned  the  voice  of  conscience  in  sin. 

138  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [March  17. 

The  Saint  and  his  friend  St.  Ephrem  prayed  earnestly  for  her  dur- 
ing two  years.  Then  he  went  disguised  to  seek  the  lost  sheep, 
and  had  the  joy  of  bringing  her  back  to  the  desert  a  true  penitent. 
She  received  the  gift  of  miracles,  and  her  countenance  after  death 
shone  as  the  sun.  St.  Abraham  died  five  years  before  her,  about 
a.d.  360.  All  Edessa  came  for  his  last  blessing,  and  to  secure  his 

Reflection. — Oh  !  that  we  realized  the  omnipotence  of  prayer. 
Every  soul  was  created  to  glorify  God  eternally ;  and  it  is  in  the 
power  of  every  one  to  add  by  the  salvation  of  his  neighbor  to 
the  glory  of  God.  Let  us  make  good  use  of  this  talent  of  prayer, 
lest  our  brother's  blood  be  required  of  us  at  the  last. 


fF  the  virtue  of  children  reflects  an  honor  on  their  parents,  much 
more  justly  is  the  name  of  St.  Patrick  rendered  illustrious  by 
the  innumerable  lights  of  sanctity  with  which  the  Church  of 
Ireland  shone  during  many  ages,  and  by  the  colonies  of  Saints 
with  which  it  peopled  many  foreign  countries ;  for,  under  God, 
its  inhabitants  derived  from  their  glorious  apostle  the  streams  of 
that  eminent  sanctity  by  which  they  were  long  conspicuous  to 
the  whole  world.    St.  Patrick  was  born  towards  the  close  of  the 

March  17.] 



fourth  century,  in  a  village  called  Bonaven  Tabernise,  which 
seems  to  be  the  town  of  Kilpatrick,  on  the  mouth  of  the  river 
Clyde,  in  Scotland,  between  Dumbarton  and  Glasgow.  He  calls 
himself  both  a  Briton  and  a  Roman,  or  of  a  mixed  extraction,  and 
says  his  father  was  of  a  good  family  named  Calphurnius,  and  a 
denizen  of  a  neighboring  city  of  the  Romans,  who  not  long  after 
abandoned  Britain,  in  409.  Some  writers  call  his  mother  Con- 
chessa,  and  say  she  was  niece  to  St.  Martin  of  Tours. 

In  his  sixteenth  year  he  was  carried  into  captivity  by  certain 
barbarians  who  took  him  into  Ireland,  where  he  was  obliged  to 

keep  cattle  on  the  mountains  and  in  the  forests,  in  hunger  and 
nakedness,  amidst  snows,  rain,  and  ice.  Whilst  he  lived  in  this 
suffering  condition,  God  had  pity  on  his  soul,  and  quickened  him 
to  a  sense  of  his  duty  by  the  impulse  of  a  strong  interior  grace. 
The  young  man  had  recourse  to  Him  with  his  whole  heart  in  fer- 
vent prayer  and  fasting ;  and  from  that  time  faith  and  the  love  of 
God  acquired  continually  new  strength  in  his  tender  soul.  After 
six  months  spent  in  slavery  under  the  same  master,  St.  Patrick 
was  admonished  by  God  in  a  dream  to  return  to  his  own  coun- 
try, and  informed  that  a  ship  was  then  ready  to  sail  thither. 
He  went  at  once  to  the  sea  coast,  though  at  a  great  distance,  and 
found  the  vessel ;  but  could  not  obtain  his  passage,  probably 
for  want    of    money.     The  Saint   returned    towards    his  hut, 



[March  I/* 

praying  as  he  went,  but  the  sailors,  though  pagans,  called  him 
back,  and  took  him  on  board.  After  three  days'  sail  they  made 
land,  but  wandered  twenty-seven  days  through  deserts,  and  were  a 
long  while  distressed  for  want  of  provisions,  finding  nothing  to 
eat.  Patrick  had  often  spoken  to  the  company  on  the  infinite 
power  of  God,  they  therefore  asked  him  why  he  did  not  pray  for 
relief.  Animated  by  a  strong  faith,  he  assured  them  that  if  they 
would  address  themselves  with  their  whole  hearts  to  the  true  God, 
He  would  hear  and  succor  them.  They  did  so,  and  on  the  same 
day  met  with  a  herd  of  swine.  From  that  time  provisions  never 
failed  them,  till  on  the  twenty-seventh  day  they  came  into  a  coun- 
try that  was  cultivated  and  inhabited. 

Some  years  afterward  he  was  again  led  captive,  but  recovered 
his  liberty  after  two  months.  When  he  was  at  home  with  his  pa- 
rents, God  manifested  to  him,  by  divers  visions,  that  he  destined 
him  to  the  great  work  of  the  conversion  of  Ireland.  The  writers 
of  his  life  say  that  after  his  second  captivity  he  travelled  into. 
Gaul  and  Italy,  and  saw  St.  Martin,  St.  Germanus  of  Auxerre, 
and  Pope  Celestine,  and  that  he  received  his  mission  and  the 
apostolical  benediction  from  this  Pope,  who  died  in  432.  It  is. 
certain  that  he  spent  many  years  in  preparing  himself  for  his  sacred 
calling.  Great  opposition  was  made  against  his  episcopal  conse- 
cration and  mission,  both  by  his  own  relations  and  by  the  clergy. 
These  made  him  great  offers  in  order  to  detain  him  among  them,, 
and  endeavored  to  affright  him  by  exaggerating  the  dangers  to. 
which  he  exposed  himself  amidst  the  enemies  of  the  Romans  and 
Britons,  who  did  not  know  God.  All  these  temptations  threw  the 
Saint  into  great  perplexities,  but  the  Lord,  whose  will  he  consulted 
by  earnest  prayer,  supported  him,  and  he  persevered  in  his  resolu- 
tion. He  forsook  his  family,  sold  his  birthright  and  dignity,  to. 
serve  strangers,  and  consecrated  his  soul  to  God,  to  carry  His 
name  to  the  ends  of  the  earth.  In  this  disposition  he  passed  into  Ire- 
land, to  preach  the  Gospel,  where  the  worship  of  idols  still  gener- 
ally reigned.  He  devoted  himself  entirely  to  the  salvation  of 
these  barbarians.  He  travelled  over  the  whole  island,  penetrating 
into  the  remotest  corners,  and  such  was  the  fruit  of  his  preachings 
and  sufferings  that  he  baptized  an  infinite  number  of  people. 
He  ordained  everywhere  clergymen,  induced  women  to  live  in 
holy  widowhood  and  continence,  consecrated  virgins  to  Christ, 
and  instituted  monks.  He  took  nothing  from  the  many  thousands, 
whom  he  baptized,  and  often  gave  back  the  little  presents  which 
some  laid  on  the  altar,  choosing  rather  to  mortify  the  fervent  thani 

March  17.] 


to  scandalize  the  weak  or  the  infidels.  He  gave  freely  of  his  own, 
however,  both  to  Pagans  and  Christians,  distributed  large  alms  to 
the  poor  in  the  provinces  where  he  passed,  made  presents  to  the 
kings,  judging  that  necessary  for  the  progress  of  the  Gospel,  and 
maintained  and  educated  many  children,  whom  he  trained  up  to 
serve  at  the  altar.  The  happy  success  of  his  labors  cost  him  many 

A  certain  prince  named  Corotick,  a  Christian  in  name  only, 
disturbed  the  peace  of  his  flock.  This  tyrant,  having  made  a 
descent  into  Ireland,  plundered  the  country  where  St.  Patrick  had 
been  just  conferring  confirmation  on  a  great  number  of  neo- 
phytes, who  were  yet  in  their  white  garments  after  baptism. 
Corotick  massacred  many,  and  carried  away  others,  whom  he 
sold  to  the  infidel  Picts  or  Scots.  The  next  day  the  Saint  sent  the 
barbarian  a  letter  entreating  him  to  restore  the  Christian  captives, 
and  at  least  part  of  the  booty  he  had  taken,  that  the  poor  people 
might  not  perish  for  want;  but  was  only  answered  by  railleries. 
The  Saint,  therefore,  wrote  with  his  own  hand  a  letter.  In  it  he 
styles  himself  a  sinner  and  an  ignorant  man  ;  he  declares,  never- 
theless, that  he  is  established  bishop  of  Ireland,  and  pronounces 
Corotick  and  the  other  parricides  and  accomplices  separated  from 
him  and  from  Jesus  Christ,  whose  place  he  holds,  forbidding  any 
to  eat  with  them,  or  to  receive  their  alms,  till  they  should  have 
satisfied  God  by  the  tears  of  sincere  penance,  and  restored  the 
servants  of  Jesus  Christ  to  their  liberty.  This  letter  expresses  his 
most  tender  love  for  his  flock,  and  his  grief  for  those  who  had 
been  slain,  yet  mingled  with  joy,  because  they  reign  with  the 
prophets,  apostles,  and  martyrs.  Jocelin  assures  us  that  Corotick 
was  overtaken  by  the  divine  vengeance. 

St.  Patrick  held  several  councils  to  settle  the  discipline  of  the 
Church  which  he  had  planted.  St.  Bernard  and  the  tradition  of 
the  country  testify  that  St.  Patrick  fixed  his  metropolitan  see  at 
Armagh.  He  established  some  other  bishops,  as  appears  by  his 
Council  and  other  monuments.  He  not  only  converted  the  whole 
country  by  his  preaching  and  wonderful  miracles,  but  also  culti- 
vated this  vineyard  with  so  fruitful  a  benediction  and  increase  from 
heaven,  as  to  render  Ireland  a  most  flourishing  garden  in  the 
Church  of  God,  and  a  country  of  Saints. 

Many  particulars  are  related  of  the  labors  of  St.  Patrick,  which 
we  pass  over.  In  the  first  year  of  his  mission  he  attempted  to 
preach  Christ  in  the  general  assembly  of  the  kings  and  states  of 
all  Ireland,  held  yearly  at  Tara,  the  residence  of  the  chief  king, 



[March  18. 

styled  the  monarch  of  the  whole  island,  and  the  principal  seat  of 
the  Druids  or  priests,  and  their  paganish  rites.  The  son  of  Neill, 
the  chief  monarch,  declared  himself  against  the  preacher ;  how- 
ever, Patrick  converted  several,  and,  on  his  road  to  that  place,  the 
father  of  St.  Benignus,  his  immediate  successor  in  the  see  of 
Armagh,  He  afterward  converted  and  baptized  the  kings  of  Dub- 
lin and  Munster,  and  the  seven  sons  of  the  king  of  Connaught,  with 
the  greatest  part  of  their  subjects,  and  before  his  death  almost  the 
whole  island.  He  founded  a  monastery  at  Armagh  ;  another  called 
Domnach-Padraig,  or  Patrick's  Church ;  also  a  third,  named  Sab- 
hal-Padraig,  and  filled  the  country  with  churches  and  schools  of 
piety  and  learning,  the  reputation  of  which,  for  the  three  succeed- 
ing centuries,  drew  many  foreigners  into  Ireland.  He  died  and 
was  buried  at  Down,  in  Ulster.  His  body  was  found  there  in  a 
church  of  his  name  in  1185,  and  translated  to  another  part  of  the 
same  church. 

Ireland  is  the  nursery  whence  St.  Patrick  sent  forth  his  mission- 
aries and  teachers.  Glastonbury  and  Lindisfarne,  Ripon  and 
Malmesbury,  bear  testimony  to  the  labors  of  Irish  priests  and 
bishops  for  the  conversion  of  England!  Iona  is  to  this  day  the 
most  venerated  spot  in  Scotland.  Columban,  Fiacre,  Gall,  and 
many  others  evangelized  the  "  rough  places"  of  France  and  Swit- 
zerland. America  and  Australia,  in  modern  times,  owe  their 
Christianity  to  the  faith  and  zeal  of  the  sons  and  daughters  of  St. 

Reflection. — By  the  instrumentality  of  St.  Patrick  the  faith 
is  now  as  fresh  in  Ireland,  even  in  this  cold  nineteenth  century, 
as  when  it  was  first  planted.  Ask  him  to  obtain  for  you  the 
special  grace  of  his  children,  to  prefer  the  loss  of  every  earthly 
good  to  the  least  compromise  in  matters  of  faith. 


YRIL  was  born  at  or  near  the  city  of  Jerusalem,  about  the 
year  315.  He  was  ordained  priest  by  St.  Maximus,  who  gave 
him  the  important  charge  of  instructing  and  preparing  the 
candidates  for  baptism.  This  charge  he  held  for  several  years, 
and  we  still  have  one  series  of  his  instructions,  given  in  the  year 
347  or  348.  They  are  of  singular  interest  as  being  the  earliest  re- 
cord of  the  systematic  teaching  of  the  Church  on  the  Creed  and 
Sacraments,  and  as  having  been  given  in  the  church  built  by  Con- 

March  18.] 


stantine  on  Mount  Calvary.  They  are  solid,  simple,  profound; 
saturated  with  Holy  Scripture  ;  exact,  precise,  and  terse ;  and,  as 
a  witness  and  exposition  of  the  Catholic  Faith,  invaluable.  On  the 
death  of  St.  Maximus  Cyril  was  chosen  Bishop  of  Jerusalem.  At 
the  beginning  of  his  episcopate  a  cross  was  seen  in  the  air  reaching 
from  Mount  Calvary  to  Mount  Olivet,  and  so  bright  that  it  shone 
at  noonday.  St.  Cyril  gave  an  account  of  it  to  the  emperor  ;  and 
the  faithful  regarded  it  as  a  presage  of  victory  over  the  Arian  her- 
etics. While  Cyril  was  bishop,  the  apostate  Julian  resolved  to  fal- 
sify the  words  of  our  Lord  by  rebuilding  the  temple  at  Jerusalem. 

He  employed  the  power  and  resources  of  a  Roman  emperor ;  the 
Jews  thronged  enthusiastically  to  him  and  gave  munificently.  But 
Cyril  was  unmoved.  "The  word  of  God  abides,"  he  said;  "  one 
stone  shall  not  be  laid  on  another."  When  the  attempt  was  made, 
a  heathen  writer  tells  us  that  horrible  flames  came  forth  from  the 
earth,  rendering  the  place  inaccessible  to  the  scorched  and  scared 
workmen.  The  attempt  was  made  again  and  again,  and  then 
abandoned  in  despair.  Soon  after,  the  emperor  perished  misera- 
bly in  a  war  against  the  Persians,  and  the  Church  had  rest.  Like 
the  other  great  bishops  of  his  time,  he  was  persecuted,  and  driven 
once  and  again  from  his  see ;  but  on  the  death  of  the  Arian  Em- 
peror Valens  he  returned  to  Jerusalem.    He  was  present  at  the 



[March  19. 

second  General  Council  at  Constantinople,  and  died  in  peace  a.d. 
386,  after  a  troubled  episcopate  of  thirty-five  years. 

Reflection. — "  As  a  stout  staff,"  says  St.  John  Chrysostom, 
"  supports  the  trembling  limbs  of  a  feeble  old  man,  so  does  faith 
sustain  our  vacillating  mind,  lest  it  be  tossed  about  by  sinful 
hesitation  and  perplexity." 


fT.  JOSEPH  was  by  birth  of  the  royal  family  of  David,  but 
was  living  in  humble  obscurity  as  a  carpenter,  when  God 
raised  him  to  the  highest  sanctity,  and  fitted  him  to  be  the 
spouse  of  His  Virgin  Mother,  and  foster-father  and  guardian  of 
the  Incarnate  Word.  Joseph,  says  the  Holy  Scripture,  was  a  just 
man;  he  was  innocent  and  pure,  as  became  the  husband  of  Mary; 
he  was  gentle  and  tender,  as  one  worthy  to  be  named  the  father 
of  Jesus  ;  he  was  prudent  and  a  lover  of  silence,  as  became  the 

master  of  the  holy  house;  above  all,  he  was  faithful  and  obedient 
to  Divine  calls.  His  conversation  was  with  angels  rather  than 
with  men.  When  he  learnt  that  Mary  bore  within  her  womb  the 
Lord  of  Heaven,  he  feared  to  take  her  as  his  wife  ;  but  an  angel 

March  19.] 



bade  him  fear  not,  and  all  doubts  vanished.  When  Herod  sought 
the  life  of  the  Divine  Infant,  an  angel  told  Joseph  in  a  dream  to 
fly  with  the  Child  and  His  Mother  into  Egypt.  Joseph  at  once 
arose  and  obeyed.  This  sudden  and  unexpected  flight  must  have 
exposed  Joseph  to  many  inconveniences  and  sufferings  in  so  long 
a  journey  with'  a  little  babe  and  a  tender  virgin,  the  greater  part 
of  the  way  being  through  deserts,  and  among  strangers  ;  yet  he 
alleges  no  excuses,  nor  inquires  at  what  time  they  were  to  return. 
St.  Chrysostom  observes  that  God  treats  thus  all  his  servants,  send- 
ing them  frequent  trials  to  clear  their  hearts  from  the  rust  of  self- 
love,  but  intermixing  seasons  of  consolation.  "  Joseph,"  says  he, 
"  is  anxious  on  seeing  the  Virgin  with  child  ;  an  angel  removes 
that  fear  ;  he  rejoices  at  the  Child's  birth,  but  a  great  fear  succeeds ; 
the  furious  king  seeks  to  destroy  the  Child,  and  the  whole  city  is  in 
an  uproar  to  take  away  His  life.  This  is  followed  by  another  joy, 
the  adoration  of  the  Magi ;  a  new  sorrow  then  arises ;  he  is  or- 
dered to  fly  into  a  foreign  unknown  country,  without  help  or  ac- 
quaintance." It  is  the  opinion  of  the  fathers  that  upon  their  en- 
tering Egypt,  at  the  presence  of  the  child  Jesus,  all  the  oracles  of 
that  superstitious  country  were  struck  dumb,  and  the  statues  of  their 
gods  trembled,  and  in  many  places  fell  to  the  ground.  The  fathers 
also  attribute  to  this  holy  visit  the  spiritual  benediction  poured  on 
that  country,  which  made  it  for  many  ages  most  fruitful  in  Saints. 
After  the  death  of  King  Herod,  of  which  St.  Joseph  was  informed 
in  another  vision,  God  ordered  him  to  return  with  the  Child  and 
His  Mother  into  the  land  of  Israel,  which  our  Saint  readily  obeyed. 
But  when  he  arrived  in  Judea,  hearing  that  Archelaus  succeeded 
Herod  in  that  part  of  the  country,  apprehensive  he  might  be  in- 
fected with  his  father's  vices,  he  feared  on  that  account  to  settle 
there,  as  he  would  otherwise  probably  have  done  for  the  education 
of  the  Child.  And  therefore,  being  directed  by  God  in  another 
vision,  he  retired  into  the  dominions  of  Herod  Antipas,  in  Galilee, 
to  his  former  habitation  in  Nazareth.  St.  Joseph  being  a  strict  ob- 
server of  the  Mosaic  law,  in  conformity  to  its  direction  annually  re- 
paired to  Jerusalem  to  celebrate  the  Passover.  Our  Saviour,  now 
in  the  twelfth  year  of  his  age,  accompanied  his  parents  thither  : 
having  performed  the  usual  ceremonies  of  the  feast,  they  were  re- 
turning with  many  of  their  neighbors  and  acquaintance  towards 
Galilee ;  and  never  doubting  but  that  Jesus  was  with  some  of  the 
company,  they  travelled  on  for  a  whole  day's  journey  before 
they  discovered  that  He  was  not  with  them.  But  when  night 
came  on,  and  they  could  hear  no  tidings  of  Him  among  their  kin- 



[March  20. 

dred  and  acquaintance,  they,  in  the  deepest  affliction,  returned  with 
the  utmost  speed  to  Jerusalem.  After  an  anxious  search  of  three 
days  they  found  Him  in  the  temple,  discoursing  with  the  learned 
doctors  of  the  law,  and  asking  them  such  questions  as  raised  the  ad- 
miration of  all  that  heard  Him,  and  made  them  astonished  at  the 
ripeness  of  His  understanding  ;  nor  were  His  parents  less  surprised 
on  this  occasion.  When  His  mother  told  Him  with  what  grief  and 
earnestness  they  had  sought  Him,  and  asked,  "  Son,  why  hast  thou 
thus  dealt  with  us  ?  Behold,  thy  father  and  I  sought  thee  in  great 
affliction  of  mind  ;"  she  received  for  answer,  "  How  is  it  that  you 
sought  me  ?  did  you  not  know  that  I  must  be  about  my  Father's 
business  ?"  But  though  thus  staying  in  the  temple  unknown  to  His 
parents,  in  all  other  things  He  was  obedient  to  them,  returning 
with  them  to  Nazareth,  and  there  living  in  all  dutiful  subjection  to 
them.  As  no  further  mention  is  made  of  St.  Joseph,  he  must  have 
died  before  the  marriage  of  Cana  and  the  beginning  of  our  Divine 
Saviour's  ministry.  We  cannot  doubt  that  he  had  the  happiness 
of  Jesus  and  Mary  attending  at  his  death,  praying  by  him,  assist- 
ing and  comforting  him  in  his  last  moments.  Whence  he  is  par- 
ticularly invoked  for  the  great  grace  of  a  happy  death,  and  the 
spiritual  presence  of  Jesus  in  that  hour. 

Reflection. — St.  Joseph,  the  shadow  of  the  Eternal  Father  upon 
earth,  the  protector  of  Jesus  in  his  home  at  Nazareth,  and  a  lover 
of  all  children  for  the  sake  of  the  Holy  Child,  should  be  the 
chosen  guardian  and  pattern  of  every  true  Christian  family. 


IS  father  was  an  officer  in  the  armies  of  King  Dagobert,  and 
the  Saint  spent  some  years  in  the  court  of  King  Clotaire  III., 
and  of  his  mother  St.  Bathildes,  but  occupied  his  heart  only 
on  God,  despising  worldly  greatness  as  empty  and  dangerous,  and 
daily  advancing  in  virtue.  His  estate  of  Maurilly  he  bestowed  on 
the  Abbey  of  Fontenelle,  or  St.  Vandrille,  in  Normandy.  He  was 
chosen  and  consecrated  Archbishop  of  Sens  in  682,  which  diocese 
he  governed  two  years  and  a  half  with  great  zeal  and  sanctity.  A 
tender  compassion  for  the  blindness  of  the  idolaters  of  Friesland, 
and  the  example  of  the  English  zealous  preachers  in  those  parts, 
moved  him  to  resign  his  bishopric,  with  proper  advice,  and  after  a 
retreat  at  Fontenelle  to  enter  Friesland  in  quality  of  a  poor  mis- 
sionary priest.    He  baptized  great  multitudes,  among  them  a  son 

March  20.] 



of  King  Radbod,  and  drew  the  people  from  the  barbarous  custom 
of  sacrificing  men  to  idols.  On  a  certain  occasion,  one  Ovon,  hav- 
ing been  selected  as  a  victim  of  a  sacrifice  to  the  heathen  gods,  St. 
Wulfran  earnestly  begged  his  life  of  King  Radbod  ;  but  the  people 
ran  tumultuously  to  the  palace,and would  not  suffer  what  they  called 
a  sacrilege.  After  many  words  they  consented,  but  on  condition  that 
Wulfran's  God  should  save  Ovon's  life.  The  Saint  betook  himself 
to  prayer ;  the  man,  after  hanging  on  the  gibbet  two  hours,  and  being 
left  for  dead,  fell  to  the  ground  by  the  breaking  of  the  cord;  being 
found  alive  he  was  given  to  the  Saint,  and  became  a  monk  and  priest 

at  Fontenelle.  Wulfran  also  miraculously  rescued  two  children 
from  being  drowned  in  honor  of  the  idols.  Radbod,  who  had 
been  an  eye-witness  to  this  last  miracle,  promised  to  become  a 
Christian ;  but  as  he  was  going  to  step  into  the  baptismal  font  he 
asked  where  the  great  number  of  his  ancestors  and  nobles  were  in 
the  next  world.  The  Saint  replied  that  hell  is  the  portion  of  all  who 
die  guilty  of  idolatry.  At  which  the  prince  refused  to  be  baptized, 
saying  he  would  go  with  the  greater  number.  This  tyrant  sent 
afterward  to  St.  Willebrord  to  treat  with  him  about  his  conversion ; 
but  before  the  arrival  of  the  Saint  was  found  dead.  St.  Wulfran 
retired  to  Fontenelle  that  he  might  prepare  himself  for  death,  and 
expired  there  on  the  20th  of  April,  720. 



[March  21. 

Reflection. — In  every  age  the  Catholic  Church  is  a  missionary 
Church.  She  has  received  the  world  for  her  inheritance,  and  in 
our  own  days  many  missioners  have  watered  with  their  blood  the 
lands  in  which  they  labored.  Help  the  propagation  of  the  Faith 
by  alms,  and  above  all  by  prayers.  You  will  quicken  your  own 
faith,  and  gain  a  part  in  the  merits  of  the  glorious  apostolate. 


T.  BENEDICT,  blessed  by  grace  and  in  name,  was  born  of  a 
noble  Italian  family  about  480.  When  a  boy  he  was  sent  to 
Rome,  and  there  placed  in  the  public  schools.  Scared  by  the 
licentiousness  of  the  Roman  youth,  he  fled  to  the  desert  mountains 
of  Subiaco,  and  was  directed  by  the  Holy  Spirit  into  a  cave,  deep, 
craggy,  and  almost  inaccessible.    He  lived  there  for  three  years, 

unknown  to  any  one  save  the  holy  monk  Romanus,  who  clothed  him 
with  the  monastic  habit  and  brought  him  food.  But  the  fame  of 
his  sanctity  soon  gathered  disciples  round  him.  The  rigor  of  his 
rule,  however,  drew  on  him  the  hatred  of  some  of  the  monks,  and 
one  of  them  mixed  poison  with  the  abbot's  drink.  But  when  the 
Saint  made  the  sign  of  the  cross  on  the  poisoned  bowl,  it  broke  and 
fell  in  pieces  to  the  ground.  After  he  had  built  twelve  monasteries  at 
Subiaco,  he  removed  to  Monte  Cassino,  where  he  founded  an  abbey, 

March  22.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  149 

in  which  he  wrote  his  rule,  and  lived  until  death.  By  prayer  he 
did  all  things :  wrought  miracles,  saw  visions,  and  prophesied.  A 
peasant,  whose  boy  had  just  died,  ran  in  anguish  to  St.  Benedict, 
crying  out,  ''Give  me  back  my  son!"  The  monks  joined  the 
poor  man  in  his  entreaties  ;  but  the  Saint  replied,  "  Such  miracles 
are  not  for  us  to  work,  but  for  the  blessed  Apostles.  Why  will 
you  lay  upon  me  a  burden  which  my  weakness  cannot  bear?" 
Moved  at  length  by  compassion  he  knelt  down,  and  prostrating 
himself  upon  the  body  of  the  child  prayed  earnestly.  Then  ris- 
ing, he  cried  out,  "  Behold  not,  O  Lord,  my  sins,  but  the  faith  of 
this  man,  who  desireth  the  life  of  his  son,  and  restore  to  the  body 
that  soul  which  Thou  hast  taken  away."  Hardly  had  he  spoken 
when  the  child's  body  began  to  tremble,  and  taking  it  by  the  hand 
he  restored  it  alive  to  its  father.  Six  days  before  his  death  he 
ordered  his  grave  to  be  opened,  and  fell  ill  of  a  fever.  On  the 
sixth  day  he  requested  to  be  borne  into  the  chapel,  and,  having 
received  the  Body  and  Blood  of  Christ,  with  hands  uplifted,  and 
leaning  on  one  of  his  disciples,  he  calmly  expired  in  prayer  on 
the  2 1  st  of  March,  543. 

Reflection. — The  Saints  never  feared  to  undertake  any  work, 
however  arduous,  for  God,  because  distrusting  self  they  relied  for 
assistance  and  support  wholly  upon  prayer. 


T.  CATHARINE  was  daughter  of  Ulpho,  prince  of  Nericia, 
in  Sweden,  and  of  St.  Bridget.  The  love  of  God  seemed 
almost  to  prevent  in  her  the  use  of  her  reason.  At  seven 
'years  of  age  she  was  placed  in  the  nunnery  of  Risburgh,  and 
educated  in  piety  under  the  care  of  the  holy  abbess  of  that  house. 
Being  very  beautiful,  she  was,  by  her  father,  contracted  in  mar- 
riage to  Egard,  a  young  nobleman  of  great  virtue ;  but  the  virgin 
persuaded  him  to  join  with  her  in  making  a  mutual  vow  of  per- 
petual chastity.  By  her  discourses  he  became  desirous  only  of 
heavenly  graces,  and,  to  draw  them  down  upon  his  soul  more 
abundantly,  he  readily  acquiesced  in  the  proposal.  The  happy 
couple,  having  but  one  heart  and  one  desire,  by  a  holy  emulation 
excited  each  other  to  prayer,  mortification,  and  works  of  charity. 
After  the  death  of  her  father,  St.  Catharine,  out  of  devotion  to  the 
passion  of  Christ,  and  to  the  relics  of  the  martyrs,  accompanied 
her  mother  in  her  pilgrimages  and  practices  of  devotion  and  pen- 
ance.   After  her  death  at  Rome,  in  1373,  Catharine  returned  to 

150  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [March  23. 

Sweden,  and  died  abbess  of  Vadzstena,  or  Vatzen,  on  the  24th  of 
March,  in  1381.  For  the  last  twenty-five  years  of  her  life  she 
every  day  purified  her  soul  by  a  sacramental  confession  of  her 

Reflection. — Whoever  has  to  dwell  in  the  world  stands  in  need 
of  great  prudence;  the  Holy  Scripture  itself  assures  us  that  "the 
knowledge  of  the  Holy  is  prudence." 


UNER1C,  the  Arian  king  of  the  Vandals  in  Africa,  succeed- 
ed his  father  Genseric  in  477.  He  behaved  himself  at  first 
with  moderation  towards  the  Catholics,  but  in  480  he  began 
a  grievous  persecution  of  the  clergy  and  holy  virgins,  which,  in 
484,  became  general,  and  vast  numbers  of  Catholics  were  put  to 
death.  Victorian,  one  of  the  principal  lords  of  the  kingdom,  had 
been  made  governor  of  Carthage,  with  the  Roman  title  of  procon- 
sul. He  was  the  wealthiest  subject  of  the  king,  who  placed  great 
confidence  in  him,  and  he  had  ever  behaved  with  an  inviolable 
fidelity.  The  king,  after  he  had  published  his  cruel  edicts,  sent  a 
message  to  the  proconsul,  promising,  if  he  would  conform  to  his 
religion,  to  heap  on  him  the  greatest  wealth  and  the  highest  hon- 
ors which  it  was  in  the  power  of  a  prince  to  bestow.    The  pro- 

March  23.] 


consul,  who  amidst  the  glittering  pomps  of  the  world  perfectly 
understood  its  emptiness,  made  this  generous  answer :  "  Tell  the 
king  that  I  trust  in  Christ.  His  majesty  may  condemn  me  to  any 
torments :  but  I  shall  never  consent  to  renounce  the  Catholic 
Church  in  which  I  have  been  baptized.  Even  if  there  were  no  life 
after  this,  I  would  never  be  ungrateful  and  perfidious  to  God, 
who  has  granted  me  the  happiness  of  knowing  him,  and  be- 
stowed on  me  his  most  precious  graces."  The  tyrant  became 
furious  at  this  answer:  nor  can  the  tortures  be  imagined  which  he 
caused  the  Saint  to  endure.    Victorian  suffered  them  with  joy,  and 

amidst  them  finished  his  glorious  martyrdom.  The  Roman  Mar- 
tyrology  joins  with  him  on  this  day  four  others  who  were  crowned 
in  the  same  persecution.  Two  brothers,  who  were  apprehended 
for  the  faith,  had  promised  each  other,  if  possible,  to  die  togeth- 
er; and  they  begged  of  God,  as  a  favor,  that  they  might  both 
suffer  the  same  torments.  The  persecutors  hung  them  in  the  air 
with  great  weights  at  their  feet.  One  of  them,  under  the  excess 
of  pain,  begged  to  be  taken  down  for  a  little  ease.  His  brother, 
fearing  that  this  might  move  him  to  deny  his  faith,  cried  out  from 
the  rack,  "  God  forbid,  dear  brother,  that  you  should  ask  such  a 
thing.  Is  this  what  we  promised  to  Jesus  Christ?"  The  other 
was  so  wonderfully  encouraged  that  he  cried  out,  "  No,  no ;  I  ask 
not  to  be  released ;  increase  my  tortures,  exert  all  your  cruelties 



[March  24. 

till  they  are  exhausted  upon  me."  They  were  then  burnt  with  red- 
hot  plates  of  iron,  and  tormented  so  long  that  the  executioners  at 
last  left  them,  saying,  "  Every  body  follows  their  example,  no  one 
now  embraces  our  religion."  This  they  said,  chiefly,  because,  not- 
withstanding they  had  been  so  long  and  so  grievously  tormented, 
there  were  no  scars  or  bruises  to  be  seen  upon  them.  Two  mer- 
chants of  Carthage,  who  both  bore  the  name  of  Frumentius,  suf- 
fered martyrdom  about  the  same  time.  Among  many  glorious 
confessors  at  that  time,  one  Liberatus,  an  eminent  physician,  was 
sent  into  banishment  with  his  wife.  He  only  grieved  to  see  his 
infant  children  torn  from  him.  His  wife  checked  his  tears  by 
these  words:  "Think  no  more  of  them,  Jesus  Christ  himself  will 
have  care  of  them,  and  protect  their  souls."  Whilst  in  prison  she 
was  told  that  her  husband  had  conformed  :  accordingly,  when  she 
met  him  at  the  bar  before  the  judge,  she  upbraided  him  in  open 
court  for  having  basely  abandoned  God;  but  discovered  by  his 
answer  that  a  cheat  had  been  put  upon  her  to  deceive  her  into 
her  ruin.  Twelve  young  children,  when  dragged  away  by  the 
persecutors,  held  their  companions  by  the  knees  till  they  were 
torn  away  by  violence.  They  were  most  cruelly  beaten  and 
scourged  every  day  for  a  long  time ;  yet  by  God's  grace  every  one 
of  them  persevered  to  the  end  of  the  persecution  firm  in  the  faith. 

7  AIL,  flowers  of  the  martyrs  »"  the  Church  sings  in  her  Office 

of  the  Holy  Innocents,  who  were  the  first  to  die  for  Christ; 

and  in  every  age  mere  children  and  infants  have  gloriously 
confessed  His  name.  In  1472,  the  Jews  in  the  city  of  Trent  deter- 
mined to  vent  their  hate  against  the  crucified  by  slaying  a  Chris- 
tian child  at  the  coming  Passover,  and  Tobias,  one  of  their  num- 
ber, was  deputed  to  entrap  a  victim.  He  found  a  bright,  smiling 
boy  named  Simon  playing  outside  his  home,  with  no  one  guarding 
him.  Tobias  patted  the  little  fellow's  cheek,  and  coaxed  him  to 
take  his  hand.  The  boy,  who  was  not  two  years  old,  did  so ;  but 
he  began  to  call  and  cry  for  his  mother  when  he  found  himself 
being  led  from  home.  Then  Tobias  gave  him  a  bright  coin  to 
look  at,  and  with  many  kind  caresses  silenced  his  grief,  and  con- 
ducted him  securely  to  his  house.  At  midnight  on  Holy  Thurs- 
day, the  work  of  butchery  began.  Having  gagged  his  mouth,  they 
held  his  arms  in  the  form  of  a  cross,  while  they  pierced  his  tender 
body  with  awls  and  bodkins  in  blasphemous  mockery  of  the  suf- 


March  24.] 



ferings  of  Jesus  Christ.  After  an  hour's  torture,  the  little  martyr 
lifted  his  eyes  to  heaven,  and  gave  up  his  innocent  soul.  The 
Jews  cast  his  body  into  the  river ;  but  their  crime  was  discovered 
and  punished,  while  the  holy  relics  were  enshrined  in  St.  Peter's 
Church  at  Trent,  where  they  have  worked  many  miracles. 

William  of  Norwich  is  another  of  these  children  martyrs. 
His  parents  were  simple  country  folk,  but  his  mother  was  taught 
by  a  vision  to  expect  a  Saint  in  her  son.  As  a  boy  he  fasted 
thrice  a  week  and  prayed  constantly,  and  he  was  only  an  appren- 
tice twelve  years  of  age,  at  a  tanner's  in  Norwich,  when  he  won 
his  crown.  A  little  before  Easter,  a.d.  1 137,  he  was  enticed  into 
a  Jew's  house,  and  was  there  gagged,  bound,  and  crucified  in 
hatred  of  Christ.  Five  years  passed  before  the  body  was  found, 
when  it  was  buried  as  a  saintly  relic  in  the  cathedral  churchyard. 
A  rose-tree  planted  hard  by  flowered  miraculously  in  midwinter, 
and  all  manner  of  sick  persons  were  healed  of  their  diseases  at 
St.  William's  shrine. 

Reflection. — Learn  from  the  infant  martyrs  that,  however 
weak  you  may  be,  you  still  can  suffer  for  Christ's  sake,  and,  by 
suffering,  win  your  crown. 



[March  25. 


HIS  great  festival  takes  its  name  from  the  happy  tidings 
brought  by  the  angel  Gabriel  to  the  Blessed  Virgin,  con- 
cerning the  Incarnation  of  the  Son  of  God.  It  commem- 
orates the  most  important  embassy  that  was  ever  known :  an 
embassy  sent  by  the  King  of  kings,  performed  by  one  of  the 
chief  princes  of  His  heavenly  court ;  directed,  not  to  the  great 
ones  of  this  earth,  but  to  a  poor,  unknown  virgin,  who,  being  en- 
dowed with  the  most  angelic  purity  of  soul  and  body,  being 
withal  perfectly  humble  and  devoted  to  God,  was  greater  in  His 
eyes  than  the  mightiest  monarch  in  the  world.  When  the  Son  of 
God  became  man,  He  could  have  taken  upon  Him  our  nature 
without  the  co-operation  of  any  creature ;  but  He  was  pleased  to 
be  born  of  a  woman.  In  the  choice  of  her  whom  He  raised  to  this 
most  sublime  of  all  dignities,  He  pitched  upon  the  one  who,  by 
the  riches  of  His  grace  and  virtues,  was  of  all  others  the  most  holy 
and  the  most  perfect.  The  design  of  this  embassy  of  the  arch- 
angel is  to  give  a  Saviour  to  the  world,  a  victim  of  propitiation 
to  the  sinner,  a  model  to  the  just,  a  son  to  this  Virgin,  remaining 
still  a  virgin,  and  a  new  nature  to  the  Son  of  God,  the  nature  of 
man,  capable  of  suffering  pain  and  anguish  in  order  to  satisfy 
God's  justice  for  our  transgressions. 

When  the  Angel  appeared  to  Mary  and  addressed  her,  the 
Blessed  Virgin  was  troubled;  not  at  the  angel's  appearance,  says 
St.  Ambrose,  for  heavenly  visions  and  a  commerce  with  the 
blessed  spirits  had  been  familiar  to  her.  But  what  alarmed  her, 
lie  says,  was  the  angel's  appearing  in  human  form,  in  the  shape 
of  a  young  man.  What  might  add  to  her  fright  on  the  occasion, 
was  his  addressing  her  in  words  of  praise.  Mary,  guarded  by  her 
modesty,  is  in  confusion  at  expressions  of  this  sort,  and  dreads 
the  least  appearance  of  deluding  flattery.  Such  high  commenda- 
tions make  her  cautious  how  she  answers,  till  in  silence  she  has 
more  fully  considered  of  the  matter  :  "  She  revolved  in  her  mind," 
says  St.  Luke,  "what  manner  of  salutation  this  should  be."  Ah! 
what  numbers  of  innocent  souls  have  been  corrupted  for  want  of 
using  the  like  precautions  ! 

The  angel,  to  calm  her,  says:  "  Fear  not,  Mary,  for  thou  hast 
found  favor  before  God."  He  then  informs  her  that  she  is  to  con- 
ceive and  bring  forth  a  son  whose  name  shall  be  Jesus,  who  shall 
be  great,  and  the  Son  of  the  Most  High,  and  possessed  of  the 

March  25.] 



throne  of  David,  her  illustrious  ancestor.  Mary,  out  of  a  just 
concern  to  know  how  she  may  comply  with  the  will  of  God  with- 
out prejudice  to  her  vow  of  virginity,  inquires,  "  How  shall  this 
be?"  Nor  does  she  give  her  consent  till  the  heavenly  messenger 
acquaints  her  that  it  is  to  be  a  work  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  who  in 
making  her  fruitful,  will  not  intrench  in  the  least  upon  her  vir- 
ginal purity. 

In  submission,  therefore,  to  God's  will,  without  any  further 
inquiries,  she  expresses  her  assent  in  these  humble  but  powerful 
words :  "  Behold  the  handmaid  of  the  Lord,  be  it  done  to  me 

according  to  thy  word."  What  faith  and  confidence  does  her  an- 
swer express !    What  profound  humility  and  perfect  obedience  ! 

Reflection. — From  the  example  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  in  this 
mystery,  how  ardent  a  love  ought  we  to  conceive  of  purity  and 
humility  !  The  Holy  Ghost  is  invited  by  purity  to  dwell  in  souls, 
but  is  chased  away  by  the  filth  of  the  contrary  vice.  Humility  is 
the  foundation  of  a  spiritual  life.  By  it  Mary  was  prepared  for 
the  extraordinary  graces,  and  all  virtues  with  which  she  was 
enriched,  and  for  the  eminent  dignity  of  Mother  of  God. 

1 56 


[March  26. 


T.  LUDGER  was  born  in  Friesland  about  the  year  743.  His 
father,  a  nobleman  of  the  first  rank,  at  the  child's  own  re- 
quest, committed  him  very  young  to  the  care  of  St.  Gre- 
gory, the  disciple  of  St.  Boniface,  and  his  successor  in  the  govern- 
ment of  the  see  of  Utrecht.  Gregory  educated  him  in  his  monas- 
tery, and  gave  him  the  clerical  tonsure.  Ludger,  desirous  of  fur- 
ther improvement,  passed  over  into  England,  and  spent  four  years 
and  a  half  under  Alcuin,  who  was  rector  of  a  famous  school  at 
York.  In  773  he  returned  home,  and  St.  Gregory  dying  in  776, 
his  successor,  Alberic,  compelled  our  Saint  to  receive  the  holy 
order  of  priesthood,  and  employed  him  for  several  years  in 
preaching  the  word  of  God  in  Friesland,  where  he  converted 
great  numbers,  founded  several  monasteries,  and  built  many 
churches.  The  pagan  Saxons  ravaging  the  country,  Ludger  tra- 
velled to  Rome  to  consult  Pope  Adrian  II.  what  course  to  take, 
and  what  he  thought  God  required  of  him.  He  then  retired  for 
three  years  and  a  half  to  Mount  Cassino,  where  he  wore  the  habit 
of  the  order,  and  conformed  to  the  practice  of  the  rule  during  his 
stay,  but  made  no  religious  vows.  In  787,  Charlemagne  overcame 
the  Saxons,  and  conquered  Friesland  and  the  coast  of  the  Ger- 
manic Ocean  as  far  as  Denmark.  Ludger  hearing  this,  returned 
into  East  Friesland,  where  he  converted  the  Saxons  to  the  faith ; 
as  he  also  did  the  province  of  Westphalia.  He  founded  the  mon- 
astery of  Werden,  twenty-nine  miles  from  Cologne.  In  802,  Hil- 
debald,  archbishop  of  Cologne,  not  regarding  his  strenuous  re- 
sistance, ordained  him  bishop  of  Munster.  He  joined  in  his 
diocese  five  cantons  of  Friesland  which  he  had  converted,  and  also 
founded  the  monastery  of  Helmstad,  in  the  duchy  of  Brunswick. 

Being  accused  to  the  Emperor  Charlemagne  of  wasting  his  in- 
come, and  neglecting  the  embellishment  of  churches,  this  prince 
ordered  him  to  appear  at  court.  The  morning  after  his  arrival, 
the  emperor's  chamberlain  brought  him  word  that  his  attendance 
was  required.  The  Saint,  being  then  at  his  prayers,  told  the  officer 
that  he  would  follow  him  as  soon  as  he  had  finished  them.  He 
was  sent  for  three  several  times  before  he  was  ready,  which  the 
courtiers  represented  as  a  contempt  of  his  majesty,  and  the  em- 
peror, with  some  emotion,  asked  him  why  he  had  made  him  wait 
so  long,  though  he  had  sent  for  him  so  often.  The  Bishop  an- 
swered, that  though  he  had  the  most  profound  respect  for  his 
majesty,  yet  God  was  infinitely  above  him;  that  whilst  we  are 

March  26.] 



occupied  with  Him,  it  is  our  duty  to  forget  every  thing  else.  This 
answer  made  such  an  impression  on  the  emperor,  that  he  dis- 
missed him  with  honor,  and  disgraced  his  accusers.  St.  Ludger 
was  favored  with  the  gift  of  miracles  and  prophecy.  His  last 
sickness,  though  violent,  did  not  hinder  him  from  continuing  his 
functions  to  the  very  last  day  of  his  life,  which  was  Passion-Sun- 
day, on  which  day  he  preached  very  early  in  the  morning,  said 
mass  towards  nine,  and  preached  again  before  night,  foretelling 
to  those  that  were  about  him,  that  he  should  die  the  following 
night,  and  fixing  upon  a  place  in  his  monastery  of  Werden  where 

he  chose  to  be  interred.  He  died  accordingly  on  the  26th  of 
March,  at  midnight. 

Reflection. — Prayer  is  an  action  so  sublime  and  supernatural, 
that  the  Church  in  her  canonical  hours  teaches  us  to  begin  it  by  a 
fervent  petition  of  grace  to  perform  it  well.  What  an  insolence 
and  mockery  is  it  to  join  with  this  petition  an  open  disrespect  and 
a  neglect  of  all  necessary  precautions  against  distractions !  We 
ought  never  to  appear  before  God,  to  tender  him  our  homages  or 
supplications,  without  trembling,  and  without  being  deaf  to  all 
creatures,  and  shutting  all  our  senses  to  every  object  that  can  dis- 
tract our  minds  from  God. 



[March  27. 


tILL  he  was  twenty-five,  John  worked  as  a  carpenter  with  his 
father.  Then  feeling  a  call  from  God,  he  left  the  world, 
and  committed  himself  to  a  holy  solitary  in  the  desert.  His 
master  tried  his  spirit  by  many  unreasonable  commands,  bidding 
him  roll  the  hard  rocks,  tend  dead  trees,  and  the  like.  John 
obeyed  in  all  things  with  the  simplicity  of  a  child.  After  a  care- 
ful training  of  sixteen  years,  he  withdrew  to  the  top  of  a  steep 
cliff  to  think  only  of  God  and  his  soul.  The  more  he  knew  of 
himself,  the  more  he  distrusted  himself.    For  the  last  fifty  years, 

therefore,  he  never  saw  women,  and  seldom  men.  The  result  of 
this  vigilance  and  purity  was  threefold  :  a  holy  joy  and  cheerful- 
ness which  consoled  all  who  conversed  with  him  ;  perfect  obe- 
dience to  superiors ;  and  in  return  for  this,  authority  over  crea- 
tures, whom  he  had  forsaken  for  the  Creator.  St.  Augustine  tells 
us  of  his  appearing  in  a  vision  to  a  holy  woman  whose  sight  he 
had  restored,  to  avoid  seeing  her  face  to  face.  Devils  assailed 
him  continually,  but  John  never  ceased  his  prayer.  From  his 
long  communings  with  God,  he  turned  to  men  with  gifts  of  heal- 
ing and  prophecy.  Twice  each  week  he  spoke  through  a  window 
with  those  who  came  to  him,  blessing  oil  for  their  sick,  and  pre- 
dicting things  to  come.    A  deacon  came  to  him  in  disguise,  and 

March  28.] 



he  reverently  kissed  his  hand.  To  the  Emperor  Theodosius  he 
foretold  his  future  victories  and  the  time  of  his  death.  The  three 
last  days  of  his  life  John  gave  wholly  to  God  :  on  the  third  he 
was  found  on  his  knees  as  if  in  prayer,  but  his  soul  was  with  the 
blessed.    He  died  a.d.  394. 

Reflection. — The  Saints  examine  themselves  by  the  perfec- 
tions of  God,  and  do  penance.  We  judge  our  conduct  by  the 
standard  of  other  men,  and  rest  satisfied  with  it.  Yet  it  is  by  the 
divine  holiness  alone  that  we  shall  be  judged  when  we  die. 


fT.  GONTRAN  was  son  of  King  Clotaire,  and  grandson  of 
Clovis  I.  and  St.  Clotildis.  Being  the  second  son,  whilst  his 
brothers  Charibert  reigned  at  Paris,  and  Sigebert  in  Aus- 
trasia,  residing  at  Metz,  he  was  crowned  king  of  Orleans  and 
Burgundy  in  561,  making  Chalons  his  capital.  When  compelled 
to  take  up  arms  against  his  ambitious  brothers  and  the  Lombards, 
he  made  no  other  use  of  his  victories,  under  the  conduct  of  a 

brave  general  called  Mommol,  than  to  give  peace  to  his  dominions. 
The  crimes  in  which  the  barbarous  manners  of  his  nation  involved 
him  he  effaced  by  tears  of  repentance.    The  prosperity  of  his 



[March  29. 

reign,  both  in  peace  and  war,  condemns  those  who  think  that 
human  policy  cannot  be  modelled  by  the  maxims  of  the  Gospel, 
whereas  nothing-  can  render  a  government  more  flourishing.  He 
always  treated  the  pastors  of  the  Church  with  respect  and  venera- 
tion. He  was  the  protector  of  the  oppressed,  and  the  tender  parent 
of  his  subjects.  He  gave  the  greatest  attention  to  the  care  of  the  sick. 
He  fasted,  prayed,  wept,  and  offered  himself  to  God  night  and  day 
as  a  victim  ready  to  be  sacrificed  on  the  altar  of  His  justice,  to  avert 
His  indignation  which  he  believed  he  himself  had  provoked  and 
drawn  down  upon  his  innocent  people.  He  was  a  severe  punisher 
of  crimes  in  his  officers  and  others,  and,  by  many  wholesome  regu- 
lations, restrained  the  barbarous  licentiousness  of  his  troops;  but 
no  man  was  more  ready  to  forgive  offences  against  his  own 
person.  With  royal  magnificence  he  built  and  endowed  many 
churches  and  monasteries.  This  good  king  died  on  the  28th  of 
March,  in  593,  in  the  sixty-eighth  year  of  his  age,  having  reigned 
thirty-one  years  and  some  months. 

Reflection. — There  is  no  means  of  salvation  more  reliable 
than  the  practice  of  mercy,  since  our  Lord  has  said  it :  "  Blessed 
are  the  merciful,  for  they  shall  find  mercy." 



ING  SAPOR,  of  Persia,  in  the  eighteenth  year  of  his  reign, 
raised  a  bloody  persecution  against  the  Christians,  and  laid 
waste  their  churches  and  monasteries.  Jonas  and  Bara- 
chisius,  two  brothers  of  the  city  Beth-Asa,  hearing  that  several 
Christians  lay  under  sentence  of  death  at  Hubaham,  went  thither 
to  encourage  and  serve  them.  Nine  of  that  number  received  the 
crown  of  martyrdom.  After  their  execution,  Jonas  and  Barachi- 
sius  were  apprehended  for  having  exhorted  them  to  die.  The 
president  entreated  the  two  brothers  to  obey  the  King  of  Persia, 
and  to  worship  the  sun,  moon,  fire,  and  water.  Their  answer  was, 
that  it  was  more  reasonable  to  obey  the  immortal  King  of  heaven 
and  earth  than  a  mortal  prince.  Jonas  was  beaten  with  knotty 
clubs  and  with  rods,  and  next  set  in  a  frozen  pond,  with  a  cord 
tied  to  his  foot.  Barachisius  had  two  red-hot  iron  plates  and  two 
red-hot  hammers  applied  under  each  arm,  and  melted  lead  dropped 
into  his  nostrils  and  eyes ;  after  which,  he  was  carried  to  prison, 
and  there  hung  up  by  one  foot.    Despite  these  cruel  tortures,  the 

March  30.J  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  161 

two  brothers  remained  steadfast  in  the  faith.  New  and  more  hor- 
rible torments  were  then  devised,  under  which,  at  last,  they  yielded 
up  their  lives,  while  their  pure  souls  winged  their  flight  to  heaven, 
there  to  gain  the  martyr's  crown  which  they  had  so  faithfully  won. 

Reflection. — Those  powerful  motives  which  supported  the 
martyrs  under  the  sharpest  torments  ought  to  inspire  us  with 
patience,  resignation,  and  holy  joy  under  sickness  and  all  crosses 
or  trials.  Nothing  is  more  heroic  in  the  practice  of  Christian 
virtue,  nothing  more  precious  in  the  sight  of  God,  than  the  sacri- 
fice of  patience,  submission,  constant  fidelity,  and  charity  in  a 
state  of  suffering. 



OHN  made,  while  still  young,  such  progress  in  learning  that 
he  was  called  the  Scholastic.  At  the  age  of  sixteen  he  turned 
from  the  brilliant  future  which  lay  before  him,  and  retired 
to  Mt.  Sinai,  where  he  put  himself  under  the  direction  of  a  holy 
monk.  Never  was  novice  more  fervent,  more  unrelaxing  in  his 
efforts  for  self-mastery.  After  four  years,  he  took  the  vows,  and 
an  aged  abbot  foretold  that  he  would  some  day  be  one  of  the 
greatest  lights  of  the  Church.  Nineteen  years  later,  on  the  death 
of  his  director,  he  withdrew  into  a  deeper  solitude,  where  he  stud- 


[March  31. 

ied  the  lives  and  writings  of  the  Saints,  and  was  raised  to  an  unu- 
sual height  of  contemplation.  The  fame  of  his  holiness  and  prac- 
tical wisdom  drew  crowds  around  him  for  advice  and  consolation. 
For  his  greater  profit  he  visited  the  solitudes  of  Egypt.  At  the  age 
of  seventy-five  he  was  chosen  abbot  of  Mt.  Sinai,  and  there  "  he 
dwelt  in  the  mount  of  God,  and  drew  from  the  rich  treasure  of  his 
heart  priceless  riches  of  doctrine,  which  he  poured  forth  with  won- 
drous abundance  and  benediction."  He  was  induced  by  a  brother 
abbot  to  write  the  rules  by  which  he  had  guided  his  life  ;  and  his 
book,  called  the  Climax,  or  Ladder  of  Perfection,  has  been  prized  in 
all  ages  for  its  wisdom  its  clearness,  and  its  unction.    At  the  end 

of  four  years,  he  would  no  longer  endure  the  honors  and  distrac- 
tions of  his  office,  and  retired  to  his  solitude,  where  he  died  a.d. 

Reflection. — "  Cast  not  from  thee,  my  brother,"  says  the  Imita- 
tion of  Christ,  "  the  sure  hope  of  attaining  to  the  spiritual  life ;  still 
hast  thou  the  time  and  the  means." 


%FSDEGERDES,  son  of  Sapor  III.,  put  a  stop  to  the  cruel  per- 
M  secutions  against  the  Christians  in  Persia,  which  had  been  be- 
gun by  Sapor  II.,  and  the  Church  had  enjoyed  twelve  years' 
peace  in  that  kingdom,  when,  in  420,  it  was  disturbed  by  the  indis- 

March  31.] 


creet  zeal  of  Abdas,  a  Christian  bishop  who  burned  down  the  Pyr- 
aeum,  or  Temple  of  Fire,  the  great  divinity  of  the  Persians.  King 
Isdergerdes  thereupon  demolished  all  the  Christian  churches  in 
Persia,  put  to  death  Abdas,  and  raised  a  general  persecution 
against  the  Church,  which  continued  forty  years  with  great  fury. 
Isdegerdes  died  the  year  following,  in  421.  But  his  son  and  suc- 
cessor, Varanes,  carried  on  the  persecution  with  greater  inhuman- 
ity. The  very  recital  of  the  cruelties  he  exercised  on  the  Chris- 
tians strikes  us  with  horror.  Amongst  the  glorious  champions  of 
Christ,  was  St.  Benjamin,  a  deacon.    The  tyrant  caused  him  to  be 

beaten  and  imprisoned.  He  had  lain  a  year  in  the  dungeon,  when 
an  ambassador  from  the  emperor  obtained  his  release  on  condition 
he  should  never  speak  to  any  of  the  courtiers  about  religion.  The 
ambassador  passed  his  word  in  his  behalf  that  he  would  not  ;  but 
Benjamin,  who  was  a  minister  of  the  Gospel,  declared  that  he 
should  miss  no  opportunity  of  announcing  Christ.  The  king,  being 
informed  that  he  still  preached  the  faith  in  his  kingdom,  ordered  him 
to  be  apprehended,  caused  reeds  to  be  run  in  between  the  nails  and 
the  flesh,  both  of  his  hands  and  feet,  and  to  be  thrust  into  other 
most  tender  parts,  and  drawn  out  again,  and  this  to  be  frequently 
repeated  with  violence.  Lastly,  a  knotty  stake  was  thrust  into  his 
bowels,  to  rend  and  tear  them,  in  which  torment  he  expired  in  the 
year  424. 



[April  I. 

Reflection. — We  entreat  you,  O  most  holy  martyrs,  who  cheer- 
fully suffered  most  cruel  torments  for  God  our  Saviour  and  His 
love,  on  which  account  you  are  now  most  intimately  and  familiar- 
ly united  to  Him,  that  you  pray  to  the  Lord  for  us  miserable  sin- 
ners, covered  with  filth,  that  He  infuse  into  us  the  grace  of  Christ, 
that  it  may  enlighten  our  souls  that  we  may  love  Him. 


J IT  was  the  happiness  of  this  Saint  to  receive  from  his  cradle  the 
[  strongest  impressions  of  piety  by  the  example  and  care  of  his 
illustrious  and  holy  parents.  He  was  born  at  Chateau-neuf,  in 
v  the  territory  of  Valence  in  Dauphine,  in  1053.  His  father,  Odilo, 
who  served  his  country  in  an  honorable  post  in  the  army,  labored, 
by  all  the  means  in  his  power,  to  make  his  soldiers  faithful 
servants  of  their  Creator,  and  by  severe  punishments  to  restrain 
vice.  By  the  advice  of  his  son,  St.  Hugh,  he  afterwards  became  a 
Carthusian  monk,  and  died  at  the  age  of  a  hundred,  having  re- 
ceived extreme  unction  and  the  viaticum  from  the  hands  of  his 

son.  Our  Saint  likewise  assisted,  in  her  last  moments,  his  mother, 
who  had  for  many  years,  under  his  direction,  served  God  in  her 
own  house,  by  prayer,  fasting,  and  plenteous  alms-deeds.  Hugh, 
from  the  cradle,  appeared  to  be  a  child  of  benediction.    He  went 

April  2.] 



through  his  studies  with  great  applause,  and  having  chosen  to  serve 
God  in  an  ecclesiastical  state,  he  accepted  a  canonry  in  the  cathe- 
dral of  Valence.  His  great  sanctity  and  learning  rendered  him 
an  ornament  of  that  Church,  and  he  was  finally  made  bishop  of 
Grenoble.  He  set  himself  at  once  to  reprove  vice  and  to  reform 
abuses,  and  so  plentiful  was  the  benediction  of  heaven  upon  his 
labors  that  he  had  the  comfort  to  see  the  face  of  his  diocese  in  a 
short  time  exceedingly  changed.  After  two  years,  he  privately  re- 
signed his  bishopric,  presuming  on  the  tacit  consent  of  the  Holy 
See,  and,  putting  on  the  habit  of  St.  Bennet,  he  entered  upon  a  no- 
vitiate in  the  austere  abbey  of  Casa-Dei,  in  Auvergne.  There  he 
lived  a  year  a  perfect  model  of  all  virtues  to  that  house  of  Saints, 
till  Pope  Gregory  VII.  commanded  him  in  virtue  of  holy  obe- 
dience to  resume  his  pastoral  charge. 

He  earnestly  solicited  Pope  Innocent  II.  for  leave  to  resign  his 
bishopric,  that  he  might  die  in  solitude  ;  but  was  never  able  to  ob- 
tain his  request.  God  was  pleased  to  purify  his  soul  by  a  linger- 
ing illness  before  He  called  him  to  Himself.  Some  time  before  his 
death,  he  lost  his  memory  for  every  thing  but  his  prayers.  He 
closed  his  penitential  course  on  the  1st  of  April,  in  1132,  wanting 
only  two  months  of  being  eighty  years  old,  of  which  he  had  been 
fifty-two  years  bishop.  Miracles  attested  the  sanctity  of  his  happy 
death,  and  he  was  canonized  by  Innocent  II.  in  1134. 

Reflection. — Let  us  learn  from  the  example  of  the  Saints,  to 
shun  the  tumult  of  the  world  as  much  as  our  circumstances  will 
allow,  and  give  ourselves  up  to  the  exercises  of  holy  sjlitude, 
prayer,  and  pious  reading. 


T  the  age  of  fifteen,  Francis  left  his  poor  home  at  Paula  in 
Calabria  to  live  as  a  hermit  in  a  cave  by  the  sea-coast.  In 
time  disciples  gathered  round  him,  and  with  them,  in  1436, 
he  founded  the  "  Minims,"  so  called  to  show  that  they  were  the  least 
of  monastic  Orders.  They  observed  a  perpetual  Lent,  and  never 
touched  meat,  fish,  eggs,  or  milk.  Francis  himself  made  the  rock 
his  bed  ;  his  best  garment  was  a  hair  shirt,  and  boiled  herbs  his 
only  fare.  As  his  body  withered,  his  faith  grew  powerful,  and  he 
"  did  all  things  in  Him  who  strengthened  him."  He  cured  the 
sick,  raised  the  dead,  averted  plagues,  expelled  evil  spirits,  and 
brought  sinners  to  penance.    A  famous  preacher,  instigated  by  a 


[April  2. 

few  misguided  monks,  set  to  work  to  preach  against  St.  Francis 
and  his  miracles.  The  Saint  took  no  notice  of  it,  and  the 
preacher,  finding  that  he  made  no  way  with  his  hearers,  deter- 
mined to  see  this  poor  hermit,  and  confound  him  in  person. 
The  Saint  received  him  kindly,  gave  him  a  seat  by  the  fire,  and 
listened  to  a  long  exposition  of  his  own  frauds.  He  then  qui- 
etly took  some  glowing  embers  from  the  fire,  and  closing  his 
hands  upon  them  unhurt,  said,  "  Come,  Father  Anthony,  warm 
yourself,  for  you  are  shivering  for  want  of  a  little  charity." 
Father  Anthony,  falling  at  the  Saint's  feet,  asked  for  pardon, 

and  then,  having  received  his  embrace,  quitted  him,  to  become 
his  panegyrist  and  attain  himself  to  great  perfection.  When 
the  avaricious  King  Ferdinand  of  Naples  offered  him  money  for 
his  convent,  Francis  told  him  to  give  it  back  to  his  oppressed 
subjects,  and  softened  his  heart  by  causing  blood  to  flow  from 
the  ill-gotten  coin.  Louis  XI.  of  France,  trembling  at  the  ap- 
proach of  death,  sent  for  the  poor  hermit  to  ward  off  the  foe 
whose  advance  neither  his  fortresses  nor  his  guards  could 
check.  Francis  went  by  the  Pope's  command,  and  prepared  the 
king  for  a  holy  death.  The  successors  of  Louis  showered  fa- 
vors on  the  Saint,  his  Order  spread  throughout  Europe,  and 
his  name  was  reverenced  through  the  Christian  world.  He 
died  at  the  age  of  ninety-one,  on  Good  Friday,  1507,  with  the 

April  3.] 



crucifix  in  his  nand,  and  the  last  words  of  Jesus  on  his  lips, 
"  Into  Thy  hands,  O  Lord,  I  commend  my  spirit." 

Reflection. — Rely  in  all  difficulties  upon  God.  That  which 
enabled  St.  Francis  to  work  miracles  will  in  proportion  do 
wonders  for  yourself,  by  giving  you  strength  and  consolation. 


ICHARD  was  born  a.d.  1197,  in  the  little  town  of  Wyche, 
eight  miles  from  Worcester,  England.    He  and  his  elder 
brother  were  left  orphans  when  young,  and  Richard  gave  up 
the  studies  which  he  loved,  to  farm  his  brother's  impoverished 
estate.    His  brother,  in  gratitude  for  Richard's  successful  care, 
proposed  to  make  over  to  him  all  his  lands ;  but  he  refused  both 

the  estates  and  the  offer  of  a  brilliant  marriage,  to  study  for  the 
priesthood  at  Oxford.  In  1135  he  was  appointed,  for  his  learning 
and  piety,  chancellor  of  that  University,  and  afterward  by  St. 
Edmund  of  Canterbury,  chancellor  of  his  diocese.  He  stood  by 
that  Saint  in  his  long  contest  with  the  King,  and  accompanied  him 
into  exile.  After  St.  Edmund's  death,  Richard  returned  to  Eng- 
land to  toil  as  a  simple  curate,  but  was  soon  elected  Bishop  of 
Chichester  in  preference  to  the  worthless  nominee  of  Henry  III. 


[April  4. 

The  King  in  revenge  refused  to  recognize  the  election,  and  seized 
the  revenues  of  the  see.  Thus  Richard  found  himself  fighting  the 
same  battle  in  which  St.  Edmund  had  died.  He  went  to  Lyons,  was 
there  consecrated  by  Innocent  IV.  in  1245,  and  returning  to  Eng- 
land, in  spite  of  his  poverty  and  the  King's  hostility,  exercised 
fully  his  episcopal  rights,  and  thoroughly  reformed  his  see.  After 
two  years,  his  revenues  were  restored.  Young  and  old  loved  St. 
Richard.  He  gave  all  he  had,  and  worked  miracles,  to  feed  the 
poor  and  heal  the  sick ;  but  when  the  rights  or  purity  of  the 
Church  were  concerned,  he  was  inexorable.  A  priest  of  noble 
blood  polluted  his  office  by  sin ;  Richard  deprived  him  of  his  bene- 
fice, and  refused  the  King's  petition  in  his  favor.  On  the  other 
hand,  when  a  knight  violently  put  a  priest  in  prison,  Richard 
compelled  the  knight  to  walk  round  the  priest's  church  with  the 
same  log  of  wood  on  his  neck  to  which  he  had  chained  the  priest ; 
and  when  the  burgesses  of  Lewes  tore  a  criminal  from  the  church 
and  hanged  him,  Richard  made  them  dig  up  the  body  from  its  un- 
consecrated  grave,  and  bear  it  back  to  the  sanctuary  they  had 
violated.  Richard  died  a.d.  1253,  while  preaching,  at  the  Pope's 
command,  a  crusade  against  the  Saracens. 

Reflection.— As  a  brother,  as  chancellor,  and  as  bishop,  St. 
Richard  faithfully  performed  each  duty  of  his  state  without  a 
thought  of  his  own  interests.  Neglect  of  duty  is  the  first  sign  of 
that  self-love  which  ends  with  the  loss  of  grace. 


tSIDORE  was  born  of  a  ducal  family,  at  Carthagena  in  Spain. 
His  two  brothers,  Leander,  Archbishop  of  Seville,  Fulgentius 
Bishop  of  Ecija,  and  his  sister  Florentina,  are  Saints.  As  a 
boy  he  despaired  at  his  ill  success  in  study,  and  ran  away  from 
school.  Resting  in  his  flight  at  a  roadside  spring,  he  observed  a 
stone,  which  was  hollowed  out  by  the  dripping  water.  This  de- 
cided him  to  return,  and  by  hard  application  he  succeeded  where  he 
had  failed.  He  went  back  to  his  master,  and  with  the  help  of  God 
became,  even  as  a  youth,  one  of  the  most  learned  men  of  the  time. 
He  assisted  in  converting  Prince  Recared,  the  leader  of  the  Arian 
party ;  and  with  his  aid,  though  at  the  constant  peril  of  his  own 
life,  he  expelled  that  heresy  from  Spain.  Then,  following  a  call 
from  God,  he  turned  a  deaf  ear  to  the  entreaties  of  his  friends, 
and  embraced  a  hermit's  life.    Prince  Recared  and  many  of  the 

April  5.] 



nobles  and  clergy  of  Seville  went  to  persuade  him  to  come  forth, 
and  represented  the  needs  of  the  times,  and  the  good  he  could  do, 
and  had  already  done,  among  the  people.  He  refused,  and  as  far 
as  we  can  judge,  that  refusal  gave  him  the  necessary  opportunity 
of  acquiring  the  virtue  and  the  power  which  afterwards  made  him 
an  illustrious  Bishop  and  Doctor  of  the  Church.  On  the  death  of 
his  brother  Leander,  he  was  called  to  fill  the  vacant  see.  As  a 
teacher,  ruler,  founder,  and  reformer,  he  labored  not  only  in  his 
own  diocese,  but  throughout  Spain,  and  even  in  foreign  countries. 

He  died  in  Seville  on  April  4th,  636,  and  within  sixteen  years  of 
his  death  was  declared  a  Doctor  of  the  Catholic  Church. 

Reflection. — The  strength  of  temptation  usually  lies  in  the 
fact  that  its  object  is  something  flattering  to  our  pride,  soothing 
to  our  sloth,  or  in  some  way  attractive  to  the  meaner  passions.  St. 
Isidore  teaches  us  to  listen  neither  to  the  promptings  of  nature  nor 
the  plausible  advice  of  friends  when  they  contradict  the  voice  of 


HIS  wonderful  apostle,  the  "  Angel  of  the  Judgment,"  was 
born  at  Valencia  in  Spain,  in  1350,  and  at  the  age  of  eighteen 
professed  in  the  Order  of  St.  Dominic.    After  a  brilliant 
course  of  study,  he  became  master  of  sacred  theology.    For  three 


[April  5. 

years  he  read  only  the  Scriptures,  and  knew  the  whole  Bible  by 
heart.  He  converted  the  Jews  of  Valencia,  and  their  synagogue 
became  a  church.  Grief  at  the  great  schism  then  affecting  the 
Church  reduced  him  to  the  point  of  death ;  but  our  Lord  Himself 
in  glory  bade  him  go  forth  to  convert  sinners,  "for  My  judgment 
is  nigh."  This  miraculous  apostolate  lasted  twenty-one  years. 
He  preached  throughout  Europe,  in  the  towns  and  villages  of 
Spain,  Switzerland,  France,  Italy,  England,  Ireland,  Scotland. 
Everywhere  tens  of  thousands  of  sinners  were  reformed ;  Jews, 
infidels,  and  heretics  were  converted.  Stupendous  miracles  enforced 
his  words.  Twice  each  day  the  "  miracle  bell  "  summoned  the  sick, 
the  blind,  the  lame  to  be  cured.  Sinners  the  most  obdurate  be- 
came Saints ;  speaking  only  his  native  Spanish,  he  was  understood  in 
all  tongues.  Processions  of  ten  thousand  penitents  followed  him 
in  perfect  order.  Convents,  orphanages,  hospitals  arose  in  his 
path.  Amidst  all,  his  humility  remained  profound,  his  prayer 
constant.  He  always  prepared  for  preaching  by  prayer.  Once, 
however,  when  a  person  of  high  rank  was  to  be  present  at  his  ser- 
mon, he  neglected  prayer  for  study.  The  nobleman  was  not  par- 
ticularly struck  by  the  discourse  which  had  been  thus  carefully 
worked  up  ;  but  coming  again  to  hear  the  Saint,  unknown  to  the 
latter,  the  second  sermon  made  a  deep  impression  on  his  soul. 
When  St.  Vincent  heard  of  the  difference,  he  remarked  that  in  the 

April  6.] 



first  sermon  it  was  Vincent  who  had  preached,  but  in  the  second, 
Jesus  Christ.  He  fell  ill  at  Vannes  in  Brittany,  and  received  the 
crown  of  everlasting  glory  in  1419. 

Reflection. — "Whatever  you  do,"  said  St.  Vincent,  "think 
not  of  yourself,  but  of  God."  In  this  spirit  he  preached,  and  God 
spoke  by  him ;  in  this  spirit,  if  we  listen,  we  shall  hear  the  voice 
of  God. 


fT.  CELESTINE  was  a  native  of  Rome,  and  upon  the  demise 
of  Pope  Boniface,  he  was  chosen  to  succeed  him,  in  Sep- 
tember, 422,  by  the  wonderful  consent  of  the  whole  city. 
His  first  official  act  was  to  confirm  the  condemnation  of  an 
African  Bishop,  who  had  been  convicted  of  grave  crimes.  He 
wroce  also  to  the  Bishops  of  the  provinces  of  Vienne  and  Nar- 
bonne  in  Gaul,  to  correct  several  abuses,  and  ordered,  among 
other  things,  that  absolution  or  reconciliation  should  never  be 
refused  to  any  dying  sinner,  who  sincerely  asked  it ;  for  repent- 
ance depends  not  so  much  on  time  as  on  the  heart.    He  assem- 

bled a  synod  at  Rome,  in  430,  in  which  the  writings  of  Nestorius 
were  examined,  and  his  blasphemies  in  maintaining  in  Christ  a 
divine  and  a  human  person  were  condemned.    The  Pope  pro- 


[April  7. 

nounced  sentence  of  excommunication  against  Nestorius,  and  de- 
posed him.  Being  informed  that  Agricola,  the  son  of  a  British 
Bishop  called  Severianus,  who  had  been  married  before  he  was 
raised  to  the  priesthood,  had  spread  the  seeds  of  the  Pelagian  heresy 
in  Britain,  St.  Celestine  sent  thither  St.  Germanus  of  Auxerre, 
whose  zeal  and  conduct  happily  prevented  the  threatening  dan- 
ger. He  also  sent  St.  Palladius,  a  Roman,  to  preach  the  faith 
to  the  Scots,  both  in  North  Britain  and  in  Ireland,  and  many 
authors  of  the  life  of  St.  Patrick  say  that  Apostle  likewise  re- 
ceived his  commission  to  preach  to  the  Irish  from  St.  Celestine, 
in  431.  This  holy  Pope  died  on  the  1st  of  August,  in  432,  hav- 
ing reigned  almost  ten  years. 

Reflection. — Vigilance  is  truly  needful  to  those  to  whom  the 
care  of  souls  has  been  confided.  "  Blessed  are  the  servants  whom 
the  Lord  at  His  coming  shall  find  watching." 


j[d  T  E  was  by  birth  a  Jew,  and  belonged  to  the  Church  of  Jeru- 
2FjL  salem,  but  travelling  to  Rome,  he  lived  there  nearly  twenty 
years,  from  the  Pontificate  of  Anicetus  to  that  of  Eleu- 

therius,  in  177,  when  he  returned  into  the  East,  where  he  died  at 
an  advanced  age,  probably  at  Jerusalem,  in  the  year  of  Christ  180, 

April  7.] 



according  to  the  chronicle  of  Alexandria.  He  wrote  in  the  year 
133  a  History  of  the  Church  in  five  books,  from  the  Passion  of 
Christ  down  to  his  own  time,  the  loss  of  which  work  is  extremely 
regretted.  In  it  he  gave  illustrious  proofs  of  his  faith,  and 
showed  the  Apostolical  tradition,  and  that  though  certain  men 
had  disturbed  the  Church  by  broaching  heresies,  yet  down  to  his 
time,  no  episcopal  see  or  particular  Church  had  fallen  into  error. 
This  testimony  he  gave  after  having  personally  visited  all  the 
principal  Churches,  both  of  the  East  and  West. 


ERMAN  from  his  earliest  years  was  a  devoted  client  of  the 
Mother  of  God.  As  a  little  child  he  used  to  spend  all  his 
play-time  in  the  church  at  Cologne  before  an  image  of 
Mary,  where  he  received  many  favors.  One  bitter  winter  day,  as 
little  Herman  was  coming  barefooted  into  church,  his  heavenly 
Mother  appearing  to  him,  asked  him  lovingly  why  his  feet  were 
bare  in  such  cold  weather  "  Alas  !  dear  Lady,"  he  said,  "  it  is  be- 
cause my  parents  are  so  poor."  She  pointed  to  a  stone,  telling  him 
to  look  beneath  it ;  there  he  found  four  silver  pieces  wherewith  to 
buy  shoes ;  he  did  not  forget  to  return  and  thank  her.  She  enjoined 
him  to  go  to  the  same  spot  in  all  his  wants,  and  disappeared. 
Never  did  the  supply  fail  him;  but  his  comrades,  moved  by  a 
different  spirit,  could  find  nothing.  Once  our  Lady  stretched  out 
her  hand,  and  took  an  apple  which  the  boy  offered  her  in  pledge 
of  his  love.  Another  time  he  saw  her  high  up  in  the  tribune, 
with  the  Holy  Child  and  St.  John ;  he  longed  to  join  them,  but 
saw  no  way  of  doing  so  ;  suddenly  he  found  himself  placed  by 
their  side,  and  holding  sweet  converse  with  the  Infant  Jesus.  At 
the  age  of  twelve  he  entered  the  Premonstratensian  house  at 
Steinfeld,  and  there  led  an  angelic  life  of  purity  and  prayer.  His 
fellow-novices,  seeing  what  graces  he  received  from  Mary,  called 
him  Joseph ;  and  "when  he  shrank  from  so  high  an  honor,  our 
Lady  in  a  vision  took  him  as  her  spouse,  and  bade  him  bear  the 
name.  Jealously  she  reproved  the  smallest  faults  in  her  be- 
trothed, and  once  appeared  to  him  as  an  old  woman  to  upbraid 
him  for  some  slight  want  of  devotion.  As  her  dowry,  she  con- 
ferred on  him  the  most  cruel  sufferings  of  mind  and  body,  which 
were  especially  severe  on  the  great  feasts  of  the  Church.  But 
with  the  cross  Mary  brought  him  the  grace  to  bear  it  bravely, 



[April  8. 

and  thus  his  heart  was  weaned  from  earthly  things,  and  he  was 
made  ready  for  his  early  and  saintly  death,  which  took  place  about 
the  year  1230. 

Reflection. — Do  not  approach  our  Blessed  Mother  with  set 
prayers  only.  Be  intimate  with  her;  confide  in  her;  commend 
to  her  every  want  and  every  project,  small  as  well  as  great.  It  is 
a  childlike  reliance  and  a  trustful  appeal  which  she  delights  to 


T.  PERPETUUS  was  the  eighth  bishop  of  Tours  from  St. 
Gatian,  and  governed  that  see  above  thirty  years,  from  461 
to  491,  when  he  died  on  the  8th  of  April.  During  all  that 
time  he  labored  by  zealous  sermons,  many  synods,  and  wholesome 
regulations,  to  lead  souls  to  virtue.    St.  Perpetuus  had  a  great 

veneration  for  the  Saints,  and  respect  for  their  relics;  adorned 
their  shrines,  and  enriched  their  churches.  As  there  was  a  con- 
tinual succession  of  miracles  at  the  tomb  of  St.  Martin,  Per- 
petuus finding  the  church  built  by  St.  Bricius  too  small  for  the 
concourse  of  people  that  resorted  thither,  directed  its  enlargement. 
When  the  building  was  finished,  the  good  bishop  solemnized  the 
dedication  of  this  new  church,  and  performed  the  translation  of 
the  body  of  St.  Martin,  on  the  4th  of  July,  in  473.    Our  Saint 

April  9.] 



made  and  signed  his  last  will,  which  is  still  extant,  on  the  1st 
of  March,  475,  fifteen  years  before  his  death.  By  it  he  remits 
all  debts  that  were  owing  to  him ;  and  having  bequeathed  to  his 
church  his  library  and  several  farms,  and  settled  a  fund  for  the 
maintenance  of  lamps,  and  the  purchase  of  sacred  vessels,  as  occa- 
sion might  require,  he  declares  the  poor  his  heirs.  He  adds  most 
pathetic  exhortations  to  concord  and  piety;  and  bequeaths  to  his 
sister,  Fidia  Julia  Perpetua,  a  little  gold  cross,  with  relics;  he 
leaves  legacies  to  several  other  friends  and  priests,  begging  of 
each  a  remembrance  of  him  in  their  prayers.  His  ancient  epi- 
taph equals  him  to  the  great  St.  Martin. 

Reflection. — The  smart  of  poverty,  says  a  spiritual  writer,  is 
allayed  even  more  by  one  word  of  true  sympathy  than  by  the  alms 
we  give.  Alms  coldly  and  harshly  given  irritate  rather  than  soothe. 
Even  when  we  cannot  give,  words  of  kindness  are  as  a  precious 
balm  ;  and  when  we  can  give,  they  are  the  salt  and  seasoning  of 
our  alms. 

T  the  tender  age  of  twelve,  Mary  left  her  father's  house  that 

she  might  sin  without  restraint,  and  for  seventeen  years  she 

lived  in  shame  at  Alexandria.  Then  she  accompanied  a 
pilgrimage  to  Jerusalem,  and  entangled  many  in  grievous  sin. 
She  was  in  that  city  on  the  Feast  of  the  Exaltation  of  the  Holy 
Cross,  and  went  with  the  crowd  to  the  church  which  contained  the 
precious  wood.  The  rest  entered  and  adored;  but  Mary  was  in- 
visibly held  back.  In  that  instant  her  misery  and  pollution  burst 
upon  her.  Turning  to  the  Immaculate  Mother,  whose  picture 
faced  her  in  the  porch,  she  vowed  thenceforth  to  do  penance  if 
she  might  enter  and  stand  like  Magdalen  beside  the  Cross.  Then 
she  entered  in.  As  she  knelt  before  our  Lady  on  leaving  the 
church,  a  voice  came  to  her  which  said,  "  Pass  over  Jordan,  and 
thou  shalt  find  rest."  She  went  into  the  wilderness,  and  there,  in 
420,  forty-seven  years  after,  the  Abbot  Zosimus  met  her.  She  told 
him  that  for  seventeen  years  the  old  songs  and  scenes  had  haunted 
her ;  ever  since,  she  had  had  perfect  peace.  At  her  request  he 
brought  her  on  Holy  Thursday  the  sacred  Body  of  Christ.  She 
bade  him  return  again  after  a  year,  and  this  time  he  found  her 
corpse  upon  the  sand,  with  an  inscription  saying,  "  Bury  here  the 
body  of  Mary  the  sinner." 




[April  9. 

Reflection. — Blessed  John  Colombini  was  converted  to  God 
by  reading  St.  Mary's  life.  Let  us,  too,  learn  from  her  not  to  be 
content  with  confessing  and  lamenting  our  sins,  but  to  fly  from 
what  leads  us  to  commit  them. 


T.  JOHN  was  married,  but  when  his  wife  and  two  children 
died,  he  considered  it  a  call  from  God  to  lead  a  perfect  life. 
He  began  to  give  away  all  he  possessed  in  alms,  and  became 
known  throughout  the  East  as  the  Almoner.    He  was  appointed 

Patriarch  of  Alexandria ;  but  before  he  would  take  possession  of 
his  see,  he  told  his  servants  to  go  over  the  town  and  bring  him  a 
list  of  his  lords — meaning  the  poor.  They  brought  word  there 
were  seventy-five  hundred  of  them,  and  these  he  undertook  to 
feed  every  day.  On  Wednesday  and  Friday  in  every  week  he  sat 
on  a  bench  before  the  church,  to  hear  the  complaints  of  the  needy 
and  aggrieved ;  nor  would  he  permit  his  servants  to  taste  food 
until  their  wrongs  were  redressed.  The  fear  of  death  was  ever 
before  him,  and  he  never  spoke  an  idle  word.  He  turned  those 
out  of  church  whom  he  saw  talking,  and  forbade  all  detractors  to 
enter  his  house.    He  left  seventy  churches  in  Alexandria,  where 

April  io.] 



he  had  found  but  seven.  A  merchant  received  from  St.  John  five 
pounds  weight  of  gold  to  buy  merchandise.  Having  suffered 
shipwreck,  and  lost  all,  he  had  again  recourse  to  John,  who  saidr 
"  Some  of  your  merchandise  was  ill-gotten,"  and  gave  him  ten 
pounds  more ;  but  the  next  voyage  he  lost  ship  as  well  as  goods.. 
John  then  said,  "  The  ship  was  wrongfully  acquired.  Take  fifteen 
pounds  of  gold,  buy  corn  with  it,  and  put  it  on  one  of  my  ships." 
This  time  the  merchant  was  carried  by  the  winds  without  his  own. 
knowledge  to  England,  where  there  was  a  famine ;  and  he  sold 
the  corn  for  its  weight  in  tin,  and  on  his  return  he  found  the 
tin  changed  to  finest  silver.  St.  John  died  in  Cyprus,  his  native 
place,  about  the  year  619. 

Reflection. — What  sacrifices  can  we  make  for  the  poor  which 
will  seem  enough,  when  we  reflect  that  mercy  to  them  is  our  only 
means  of  repaying  Jesus  Christ,  who  sacrificed  His  life  for  us  ? 


ADEMUS  was  a  rich  and  noble  citizen  of  Bethlapeta,  in  Per- 
dp)  sia,  who  founded  a  monastery  near  that  city,  which  he  gov- 
erned with  great  sanctity.  He  conducted  his  religious  in  the 
paths  of  perfection  with  sweetness,  prudence,  and  charity.  To 
crown  his  virtue,  God  permitted  him,  with  seven  of  his  monks,  to 
be  apprehended  by  the  followers  of  King  Sapor,  in  the  thirty- 
sixth  year  of  his  persecution.  He  lay  four  months  in  a  dungeon, 
loaded  with  chains ;  during  which  lingering  martyrdom  he  every 
day  received  a  number  of  stripes.  But  he  triumphed  over  his 
torments  by  the  patience  and  joy  with  which  he  suffered  them  for 
Christ.  At  the  same  time,  a  Christian  lord  named  Nersan,  prince 
of  Aria,  was  cast  into  prison  because  he  refused  to  adore  the  sun. 
At  first  he  showed  some  resolution  ;  but  at  the  sight  of  tortures 
his  constancy  failed  him,  and  he  promised  to  conform.  The  king, 
to  try  if  his  change  was  sincere,  ordered  Bademus  to  be  introduced 
into  the  prison  of  Nersan,  which  was  a  chamber  in  the  royal  palace, 
and  sent  word  to  Nersan  that  if  he  would  dispatch  Bademus,  he 
should  be  restored  to  his  liberty  and  former  dignities.  The  wretch 
accepted  the  condition ;  a  sword  was  put  into  his  hand,  and  he  ad- 
vanced to  plunge  it  into  the  breast  of  the  abbot.  But  being  seized 
with  a  sudden  terror,  he  stopped  short,  and  remained  some  time 
without  being  able  to  lift  up  his  arm  to  strike.  He  had  neither 
courage  to  repent,  nor  heart  to  accomplish  his  crime.    He  strove, 



[April  io. 

however,  to  harden  himself,  and  continued  with  a  trembling  hand 
to  aim  at  the  sides  of  the  martyr.  Fear,  shame,  remose,  and  re- 
spect for  the  martyr  made  his  strokes  forceless  and  unsteady  ;  and 
so  great  was  the  number  of  the  martyr's  wounds,  that  the  bystand- 
ers were  in  admiration  at  his  invincible  patience.  After  four  strokes, 
the  martyr's  head  was  severed  from  the  trunk.  Nersan,  a  short 
time  after,  falling  into  public  disgrace,  perished  by  the  sword. 
The  body  of  St.  Bademus  was  reproachfully  cast  out  of  the  city  by 
the  infidels ;  but  was  secretly  carried  away  and  interred  by  the 
Christians.     His  disciples  were  released  from  their  chains  four 

years  afterward  upon  the  death  of  King  Sapor.  St.  Bademus  suf- 
fered on  the  ioth  of  April  in  the  year  376. 

Reflection. — Oh  !  what  ravishing  delights  does  the  soul  taste 
which  is  accustomed,  by  a  familiar  habit,  to  converse  in  the  heaven 
-of  its  own  interior  with  the  Three  Persons  of  the  adorable  Trinity  ! 
Worldlings  wonder  how  holy  solitaries  can  pass  their  whole  time 
buried  in  the  most  profound  solitude  and  silence.  But  those  who 
have  had  any  experience  of  this  happiness,  are  surprised  with  far 
greater  reason  how  it  is  possible  that  any  souls  which  are  created 
to  converse  eternally  with  God,  should  here  live  in  constant  dissi- 
pation, seldom  entertaining  a  devout  thought  of  Him  whose  charms 
and  sweet  conversation  eternally  ravish  all  the  blessed. 

April  II.] 




EO  was  born  at  Rome.  He  embraced  the  sacred  ministry, 
ras  made  archdeacon  of  the  Roman  Church  by  St.  Celes- 
tine,  and  under  him  and  Sixtus  III.  had  a  large  share  in 
governing  the  Church.  On  the  death  of  Sixtus,  Leo  was  chosen 
Pope,  and  consecrated  on  St.  Michael's  day,  440,  amid  great  joy. 
It  was  a  time  of  terrible  trial.  Vandals  and  Huns  were  wasting 
the  provinces  of  the  empire,  and  Nestorians,  Pelagians,  and  other 
heretics  wrought  more  grievous  havoc  among  souls.  Whilst  Leo's 
zeal  made  head  against  these  perils,  there  arose  the  new  heresy  of 

Eutyches,  who  confounded  the  two  natures  of  Christ.  At  once 
the  vigilant  pastor  proclaimed  the  true  doctrine  of  the  Incarnation 
in  his  famous  "tome;"  but  fostered  by  the  Byzantine  court,  the 
heresy  gained  a  strong  hold  amongst  the  Eastern  monks  and 
bishops.  After  three  years  of  unceasing  toil,  Leo  brought  about 
its  solemn  condemnation  by  the  Council  of  Chalcedon,  the  Fathers 
all  signing  his  tome,  and  exclaiming,  "  Peter  hath  spoken  by  Leo." 
Soon  after,  Attila  with  his  Huns  broke  into  Italy,  and  marched 
through  its  burning  cities  upon  Rome.  Leo  went  out  boldly  to 
meet  him,  and  prevailed  on  him  to  turn  back.  Astonished  to  see 
the  terrible  Attila,  the  "Scourge  of  God,"  fresh  from  the  sack  of 
Aquileia,  Milan,  Pavia,  with  the  rich  prize  of  Rome  within  his. 
grasp,  turn  his  great  host  back  to  the  Danube  at  the  Saint's  word,. 



[April  12. 

his  chiefs  asked  him  why  he  had  acted  so  strangely.  He  answered 
that  he  saw  two  venerable  personages,  supposed  to  be  SS.  Peter 
and  Paul,  standing  behind  Leo,  and  impressed  by  this  vision  he 
withdrew.  If  the  perils  of  the  Church  are  as  great  now  as  in  St. 
Leo's  day,  St.  Peter's  solicitude  is  not  less.  Two  years  later  the 
city  fell  a  prey  to  the  Vandals ;  but  even  then  Leo  saved  it  from 
destruction.  He  died  a.d.  461,  having  ruled  the  Church  twenty 

Reflection. — Leo  loved  to  ascribe  all  the  fruits  of  his  unspar- 
ing labors  to  the  glorious  chief  of  the  Apostles,  who,  he  often  de- 
clared, lives  and  governs  in  his  successors. 

^    APRIL  12.— ST.  JULIUS,  POPE. 

fT.  JULIUS  was  a  Roman,  and  chosen  Pope  on  the  6th  of 
February  in  337.    The  Arian  bishops  in  the  East  sent  to  him 
three  deputies  to  accuse  St.  Athanasius,  the  zealous  patri- 
arch of  Alexandria.    These  accusations,  as  the  order  of  justice 
required,  Julius  imparted  to  Athanasius,  who  thereupon  sent  his 
deputies  to  Rome;  when,  upon  an  impartial  hearing,  the  advocates 

of  the  heretics  were  confounded  and  silenced  upon  every  article 
of  their  accusation.  The  Arians  then  demanded  a  council,  and 
the  Pope  assembled  one  in  Rome  in  341.    The  Arians  instead  of 

April  13.] 



appearing  held  a  pretended  council  at  Antioch  in  341,  in  which 
they  presumed  to  appoint  one  Gregory,  an  impious  Arian,  bishop 
of  Alexandria,  detained  the  Pope's  legates  beyond  the  time  men- 
tioned for  their  appearance ;  and  then  wrote  to  his  holiness,  al- 
leging a  pretended  impossibility  of  their  appearing,  on  account  of 
the  Persian  war  and  other  impediments.  The  Pope  easily  saw 
through  these  pretences,  and,  in  a  council  at  Rome,  examined  the 
cause  of  St.  Athanasius,  declared  him  innocent  of  the  things  laid 
to  his  charge  by  the  Arians,  and  confirmed  him  in  his  see.  He 
also  acquitted  Marcellus  of  Ancyra,  upon  his  orthodox  profes- 
sion of  faith.  He  drew  up  and  sent  by  Count  Gabian,  to  the  Ori- 
ental Eusebian  bishops,  who  had  first  demanded  a  council,  and 
then  refused  to  appear  in  it,  an  excellent  letter,  which  is  looked 
upon  as  one  of  the  finest  monuments  of  ecclesiastical  antiquity* 
Finding  the  Eusebians  still  obstinate,  he  moved  Constans,  emperor 
of  the  West,  to  demand  the  concurrence  of  his  brother  Constan- 
tius  in  the  assembling  of  a  general  council  at  Sardica  in  Illyricum. 
This  was  opened  in  May  347,  and  declared  St.  Athanasius  and  Mar- 
cellus of  Ancyra  orthodox  and  innocent,  deposed  certain  Arian 
bishops,  and  framed  twenty-one  canons  of  discipline.  St.  Julius 
reigned  fifteen  years,  two  months,  and  six  days,  dying  on  the  12th 
of  April,  352. 


jT/^)EOVIGiLD,  King  of  the  Visigoths,  had  two  sons,  Hermene- 
J'^-^  gild  and  Recared,  who  reigned  conjointly  with  him.  All 
three  were  Arians,  but  Hermenegild  married  a  zealous 
Catholic,  the  daughter  of  Sigebert,  King  of  France,  and  by  her 
holy  example  was  converted  to  the  faith.  His  father,  on  hearing 
the  news,  denounced  him  as  a  traitor,  and  marched  to  seize  his 
person.  Hermenegild  tried  to  rally  the  Catholics  of  Spain  in  his 
defence,  but  they  were  too  weak  to  make  any  stand,  and,  after  a 
two  years'  fruitless  struggle,  he  surrendered  on  the  assurance  of  a 
free  pardon.  When  safely  in  the  royal  camp,  the  king  had  him 
loaded  with  fetters  and  cast  into  a  foul  dungeon  at  Seville.  Tor- 
tures and  bribes  were  in  turn  employed  to  shake  his  faith,  but 
Hermenegild  wrote  to  his  father  that  he  held  the  crown  as  noth- 
ing, and  preferred  to  lose  sceptre  and  life  rather  than  betray  the 
truth  of  God.  At  length,  on  Easter  night,  an  Arian  bishop  entered 
his  cell,  and  promised  him  his  father's  pardon  if  he  would  but 
receive  Communion   at   his   hands.    Hermenegild  indignantly 



[April  14. 

rejected  the  offer,  and  knelt  with  joy  for  his  death-stroke.  The 
same  night  a  light  streaming  from  his  cell  told  the  Christians  who 
were  watching  near  that  the  martyr  had  won  his  crown,  and  was 
keeping  his  Easter  with  the  Saints  in  glory. 

Leovigild,  on  his  death-bed,  though  still  an  Arian,  bade  Recared 
seek  out  St.  Leander,  whom  he  had  himself  cruelly  persecuted, 
and,  following  Hermenegild's  example,  be  received  by  him  into 
the  Church.  Recared  did  so,  and  on  his  father's  death  labored  so 
earnestly  for  the  extirpation  of  Arianism  that  he  brought  over  the 
whole  nation  of  the  Visigoths  to  the  Church.    "  Nor  is  it  to  be 

wondered,"  says  St.  Gregory,  "  that  he  came  thus  to  be  a  preacher 
of  the  true  faith,  seeing  that  he  was  brother  of  a  martyr,  whose 
merits  did  help  him  to  bring  so  many  into  the  lap  of  God's 

Reflection. — St.  Hermenegild  teaches  us  that  constancy  and 
sacrifice  are  the  best  arguments  for  the  Faith,  and  the  surest  way 
to  win  souls  to  God. 


T.  BENEZET  kept  his  mother's  sheep  in  the  country,  and  as 
a  mere  child  was  devoted  to  practices  of  piety.    As  many 
persons  were  drowned  in  crossing  the  Rhone,  Benezet  was 
inspired  by  God  to  build  a  bridge  over  that  rapid  river  at  Avig- 

April  14.] 



non.  He  obtained  t'he  approbation  of  the  bishop,  proved  his  mis- 
sion by  miracles,  and  began  the  work  in  11 77,  which  he  directed 
during  seven  years.  He  died  when  the  difficulty  of  the  under- 
taking was  over,  in  1184.  This  is  attested  by  public  monuments 
drawn  up  at  that  time  and  still  preserved  at  Avignon,  where  the 
story  is  in  every  body's  mouth.  His  body  was  buried  upon  the 
bridge  itself,  which  was  not  completely  finished  till  four  years 
after  his  decease,  the  structure  whereof  was  attended  with  miracles 
from  the  first  laying  of  the  foundations  till  it  was  completed  in 
1 188.    Other  miracles  wrought  after  this  at  his  tomb  induced  the 

city  to  build  a  chapel  upon  the  bridge,  in  which  his  body  lay 
nearly  five  hundred  years.  But  in  1669,  a  greater  part  of  the  bridge 
falling  down  through  the  impetuosity  of  the  waters,  the  coffin  was 
taken  up,  and  being  opened  in  1670  in  presence  of  the  grand  vicar, 
during  the  vacancy  of  the  archiepiscopal  see,  the  body  was  found 
entire,  without  the  least  sign  of  corruption  ;  even  the  bowels  were 
perfectly  sound,  and  the  color  of  the  eyes  lively  and  sprightly, 
though,  through  the  dampness  of  the  situation,  the  iron  bars  about 
the  coffin  were  much  damaged  with  rust.  The  body  was  found  in 
the  same  condition  by  the  Archbishop  of  Avignon  in  1674,  when, 
accompanied  by  the  Bishop  of  Orange  and  a  great  concourse  of 
nobility,  he  performed  the  translation  of  it,  with  great  pomp,  into 
the  church  of  the  Celestines,  this  Order  having  obtained  of  Louis 


[April  15. 

XIV.  the  honor  of  being  intrusted  with  the  custody  of  his  relics, 
till  such  time  as  the  bridge  and  chapel  should  be  rebuilt. 

Reflection. — Let  us  pray  for  perseverance  in  good  works. 
St.  Augustine  says,  "  When  the  Saints  pray  in  the  words  which 
Christ  taught,  they  ask  for  little  else  than  the  gift  of  perseverance." 


T.  PATERNUS  was  born  at  Poitiers,  about  the  year  482. 
His  father,  Patranus,  with  the  consent  of  his  wife,  went  into 
Ireland,  where  he  ended  his  days  in  holy  solitude.  Paternus, 
fired  by  his  example,  embraced  a  monastic  life  in  the  abbey  of 
Marnes.  After  some  time,  burning  with  a  desire  of  attaining  to 
the  perfection  of  Christian  virtue,  he  passed  over  to  Wales,  and  in 

Cardiganshire  founded  a  monastery  called  Llanpatern-vaur,  or  the 
church  of  the  great  Paternus.  He  made  a  visit  to  his  father  in 
Ireland ;  but  being  called  back  to  his  monastery  of  Marnes,  he 
soon  after  retired  with  St.  Scubilion,  a  monk  of  that  house,  and 
embraced  an  austere  anchoretical  life  in  the  forests  of  Scicy,  in  the 
diocese  of  Coutances,  near  the  sea,  having  first  obtained  leave  of 
the  bishop  and  of  the  lord  of  the  place.  This  desert,  which  was 
then  of  great  extent,  but  which  has  been  since  gradually  gained 

April  16.] 



upon  by  the  sea,  was  anciently  in  great  request  among  the  Druids. 
St.  Paternus  converted  to  the  faith  the  idolaters  of  that  and  many 
neighboring  parts,  as  far  as  Bayeux,  and  prevailed  upon  them  to 
demolish  a  pagan  temple  in  this  desert,  which  was  held  in  great 
veneration  by  the  ancient  Gauls.  In  his  old  age  he  was  conse- 
crated bishop  of  Avranches  by  Germanus,  Bishop  of  Rouen. 

Some  false  brethren  having  created  a  division  of  opinion  among 
the  bishops  of  the  province  with  respect  to  St.  Paternus,  he  pre- 
ferred retiring  rather  than  to  afford  any  ground  for  dissension, 
and,  after  governing  his  diocese  for  thirteen  years,  he  withdrew  to 
a  solitude  in  France,  and  there  ended  his  days  about  the  year  550. 

Reflection. — The  greatest  sacrifices  imposed  by  the  love  of 
peace  will  appear  as  naught  if  we  call  to  mind  the  example  of 
our  Saviour,  and  remember  his  words,  "  Blessed  are  the  peace- 
makers, for  they  shall  be  called  the  children  of  God." 


T.  OPTATUS  and  seventeen  other  holy  men  received  the 
crown  of  martyrdom  on  the  same  day,  at  Saragossa,  under 
the  cruel  Governor  Dacian,  in  the  persecution  of  Diocletian, 
in  304.  Two  others,  Caius  and  Crementius,  died  of  their  tor- 
ments after  a  second  conflict. 

The  Church  also  celebrates  on  this  day  the  triumph  of  St.  En- 
cratis,  or  Engratia,  Virgin.  She  was  a  native  of  Portugal.  Her 
father  had  promised  her  in  marriage  to  a  man  of  quality  in  Rou- 
sillon ;  but,  fearing  the  dangers,  and  despising  the  vanities  of  the 
world,  and  resolving  to  preserve  her  virginity,  in  order  to  appear 
more  agreeable  to  her  heavenly  spouse,  and  serve  Him  without 
hinderance,  she  stole  from  her  father's  house  and  fled  privately  to 
Saragossa,  where  the  persecution  was  hottest,  under  the  eyes  of 
Dacian.  She  even  reproached  him  with  his  barbarities,  upon 
which  he  ordered  her  to  be  long  tormented  in  the  most  inhuman 
manner:  her  sides  were  torn  with  iron  hooks,  and  one  of  her 
breasts  was  cut  off,  so  that  the  inner  parts  of  her  chest  were  ex- 
posed to  view,  and  part  of  her  liver  was  pulled  out.  In  this  condi- 
tion she  was  sent  back  to  prison,  being  still  alive,  and  died  by  the 
mortifying  of  her  wounds,  in  304.  The  relics  of  all  these  martyrs 
were  found  at  Saragossa  in  1389. 

1 86  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [April  17. 

Reflection. — Men  do  not  pursue  temporal  goods  at  hap- 
hazard, or  by  fits  and  starts.  Let  us  be  as  punctual  and  orderly  in 
the  service  of  God,  not  casting  about  for  new  paths,  but  perfect- 
ing our  ordinary  devotions.  If  we  persevere  in  these,  Paradise  is 


T.  ANICETUS  succeeded  St.  Pius,  and  sat  about  eight 
years,  from  165  to  173.  If  he  did  not  shed  his  blood  for  the 
faith,  he  at  least  purchased  the  title  of  martyr  by  great  suf- 
ferings and  dangers.  He  received  a  visit  from  St.  Polycarp,  and 
tolerated  the  custom  of  the  Asiatics  in  celebrating  Easter  on  the 
14th  day  of  the  first  moon  after  the  vernal  equinox,  with  the  Jews. 
His  vigilance  protected  his  flock  from  the  wiles  of  the  heretics, 
Valentine  and  Marcion,  who  sought  to  corrupt  the  faith  in  the 
capital  of  the  world. 

The  thirty-six  first  bishops  at  Rome,  down  to  Liberius,  and,  this 
one  excepted,  all  the  popes  to  Symmachus,  the  fifty-second,  in 
498,  are  honored  among  the  Saints ;  and  out  of  two  hundred  and 
forty-eight  popes,  from  St.  Peter  to  Clement  XIII.  seventy-eight 
are  named  in  the  Roman  Martyrology.  In  the  primitive  ages,  the 
spirit  of  fervor  and  perfect  sanctity,  which  is  nowadays  so  rarely 
to  be  found,  was  conspicuous  in  most  of  the  faithful,  and  especi- 

April  1 8.] 



ally  in  their  pastors.  The  whole  tenor  of  their  lives  breathed  it 
in  such  a  manner  as  to  render  them  the  miracles  of  the  world, 
angels  on  earth,  living  copies  of  their  divine  Redeemer,  the  odor 
of  whose  virtues  and  holy  law  and  religion  they  spread  on  every 

Reflection. — If,  after  making  the  mos^  solemn  protestations 
of  inviolable  friendship  and  affection  for  a  fellow-creature,  we 
should  the  next  moment  revile  and  contemn  him,  without  having 
received  any  provocation  or  affront,  and  this  habitually,  would  not 
the  whole  world  justly  call  our  protestations  hypocrisy,  and  our 
pretended  friendship  a  mockery  ?  Let  us  by  this  rule  judge  if  our 
love  of  God  be  sovereign,  so  long  as  our  inconstancy  betrays 
the  insincerity  of  our  hearts. 


ARCUS  AURELIUS  had  persecuted  the  Christians,  but  his 
son,  Commodus,  who,  in  180,  succeeded  him,  showed  him- 
self favorable  to  them  out  of  regard  to  his  Empress  Marcia, 
who  was  an  admirer  of  the  faith.  During  this  calm,  the  number 
of  the  faithful  was  exceedingly  increased,  and  many  persons  of  the 
first  rank,  among  them  Apollonius,  a  Roman  senator,  enlisted 
themselves  under  the  banner  of  the  cross.    He  was  a  person  very 

1 88 


[April  1 8. 

well  versed  both  in  philosophy  and  the  holy  Scripture.  In  the 
midst  of  the  peace  which  the  Church  enjoyed,  he  was  publicly 
accused  of  Christianity  by  one  of  his  own  slaves.  The  slave  was 
immediately  condemned  to  have  his  legs  broken,  and  to  be  put  to 
death,  in  consequence  of  an  edict  of  Marcus  Aurelius,  who,  with- 
out repealing  the  former  laws  against  convicted  Christians, 
ordered  by  it  that  their  accusers  should  be  put  to  death.  The 
slave  being  executed,  the  same  judge  sent  an  order  to  St.  Apol- 
lonius  to  renounce  his  religion  as  he  valued  his  life  and  for- 
tune.   The  Saint  courageously  rejected  such  ignominious  terms 

of  safety,  wherefore  Perennis  referred  him  to  the  judgment  of  the 
Roman  senate,  to  give  an  account  of  his  faith  to  that  body.  Per- 
sisting in  his  refusal  to  comply  with  the  condition,  the  Saint 
was  condemned  by  a  decree  of  the  Senate,  and  beheaded  about 
the  year  186. 

Reflection. — It  is  the  prerogative  of  the  Christian  religion  to 
inspire  men  with  such  resolution,  and  form  them  to  such  heroism, 
that  they  rejoice  to  sacrifice  their  life  to  truth.  This  is  not  the 
bare  force  and  exertion  of  nature,  but  the  undoubted  power  of  the 
Almighty,  whose  strength  is  thus  made  perfect  in  weakness. 
Every  Christian  ought,  by  his  manners,  to  bear  witness  to  the 
sanctity  of  his  faith.  Such  would  be  the  force  of  universal  good 
example,  that  no  libertine  or  infidel  could  withstand  it. 

April  19.] 



fT.  ELPHEGE  was  born  in  the  year  954  of  a  noble  Saxon 
family.  He  first  became  a  monk  in  the  monastery  of  Deer- 
hurst,  near  Tewkesbury,  England,  and  afterwards  lived  as  a 
hermit  near  Bath,  where  he  founded  a  community  under  the  rule 
of  St.  Benedict,  and  became  its  first  abbot.  At  thirty  years  of  age 
he  was  chosen  Bishop  of  Winchester,  and  twenty-two  years  later 
he  became  Archbishop  of  Canterbury.  In  1011,  when  the  Danes 
landed  in  Kent,  and  took  the  city  of  Canterbury,  putting  all  to  fire 
and  sword,  St.  Elphege  was  captured  and  carried  off  in  the  ex- 

pectation of  a  large  ransom.  He  was  unwilling  that  his  ruined 
church  and  people  should  be  put  to  such  expense,  and  was  kept  in 
a  loathsome  prison  at  Greenwich  for  seven  months.  While  so  con- 
fined, some  friends  came  and  urged  him  to  lay  a  tax  upon  his  ten- 
ants to  raise  the  sum  demanded  for  his  ransom.  "  What  reward 
can  I  hope  for,"  said  he,  "  if  I  spend  upon  myself  what  belongs  to 
the  poor  ?  Better  give  up  to  the  poor  what  is  ours,  than  take  from 
them  the  little  which  is  their  own."  As  he  still  refused  to  give 
ransom,  the  enraged  Danes  fell  upon  him  in  a  fury,  beat  him 
with  the  blunt  sides  of  their  weapons,  and  bruised  him  with  stones 
until  one,  whom  the  Saint  had  baptized  shortly  before,  put  an  end 
to  his  sufferings  by  the  blow  of  an  axe.    He  died  on  Easter  Satur- 



[April  20. 

day,  April  19th,  10 12,  his  last  words  being  a  prayer  for  his  murder- 
ers. His  body  was  first  buried  in  St.  Paul's,  London,  but  was  af- 
terwards translated  to  Canterbury  by  King  Canute.  A  church  de- 
dicated to  St.  Elphege  still  stands  upon  the  place  of  his  martyrdom 
at  Greenwich. 

Reflection. — Those  who  are  in  high  positions  should  consider 
themselves  as  stewards  rather  than  masters  of  the  wealth  or  power 
intrusted  to  them  for  the  benefit  of  the  poor  and  weak.  St.  Elphege 
died  rather  than  extort  his  ransom  from  the  poor  tenants  of  the 
Church  lands. 


fT.  MARCELLINUS  was  born  in  Africa,  of  a  noble  family; 
accompanied  by  Vincent  and  Domninus,  he  went  over  into 
Gaul,  and  there  preached  the  Gospel,  with  great  success,  in 
the  neighborhood  of  the  Alps.    He  afterwards  settled  at  Embrun 
where  he  built  a  chapel  in  which  he  passed  his  nights  in  prayer, 
after  laboring  all  the  day  in  the  exerci-se  of  his  sacred  calling.  By 

his  pious  example  as  well  as  by  his  earnest  words,  he  converted 
many  of  the  heathens  among  whom  he  lived.  He  was  afterwards 
made  bishop  of  the  people  whom  he  had  won  over  to  Christ,  but 

April  21.] 



the  date  of  his  consecration  is  not  positively  known.  Burning 
with  zeal  for  the  glory  of  God,  he  sent  Vincent  and  Domninus  to 
preach  the  faith  in  those  parts  which  he  could  not  visit  in  person. 
He  died  at  Embrun  about  the  year  374,  and  was  there  interred'. 
St.  Gregory  of  Tours,  who  speaks  of  Marcellinus  in  terms  of  high- 
est praise,  mentions  many  miracles  as  happening  at  his  tomb. 

Reflection. — Though  you  may  not  be  called  upon  to  preach,  at 
least  endeavor  to  set  a  good  example,  remembering  that  deeds 
often  speak  louder  than  words. 


NSELM  was  a  native  of  Piedmont.  When  a  boy  of  fifteen, 
being  forbidden  to  enter  religion,  he  for  a  while  lost  his 
fervor,  left  his  home,  and  went  to  various  schools  in  France. 
At  length  his  vocation  revived,  and  he  became  a  monk  at  Bee  in 
Normandv.    The  fame  of  his  sanctity  in  this  cloister  led  William 

Rufus,  when  dangerously  ill,  to  take  him  for  his  confessor,  and  to 
name  him  to  the  vacant  see  of  Canterbury.  Now  began  the  strife 
of  Anselm's  life.    With  new  health  the  king  relapsed  into  his 



[April  22. 

former  sins,  plundered  the  Church  lands,  scorned  the  archbishop's 
rebukes,  and  forbade  him  to  go  to  Rome  for  the  pallium.  Anselm 
went,  and  returned  only  to  enter  into  a  more  bitter  strife  with 
William's  successor,  Henry  I.  This  sovereign  claimed  the  right 
of  investing  prelates  with  the  ring  and  crozier,  symbols  of  the 
spiritual  jurisdiction  which  belongs  to  the  Church  alone.  The 
worldly  prelates  did  not  scruple  to  call  St.  Anselm  a  traitor  for  his 
defence  of  the  Pope's  supremacy ;  on  which  the  Saint  rose,  and 
with  calm  dignity  exclaimed,  "  If  any  man  pretends  that  I  violate 
my  faith  to  my  king  because  I  will  not  reject  the  authority  of  the 
Holy  See  of  Rome,  let  him  stand  forth  and  in  the  name  of  God  I 
will  answer  him  as  I  ought."  No  one  took  up  the  challenge  ;  and 
to  the  disappointment  of  the  king,  the  barons  sided  with  the  Saint, 
for  they  respected  his  courage,  and  saw  that  his  cause  was  their 
own.  Sooner  than  yield,  the  archbishop  went  again  into  exile,  till 
at  last  the  king  was  obliged  to  submit  to  the  feeble  but  inflexible 
old,  man.  In  the  midst  of  his  harassing  cares,  St.  Anselm  found 
time  for  writings  which  have  made  him  celebrated  as  the  father  of 
scholastic  theology  ;  while  in  metaphysics  and  in  science  he  had 
few  equals.  He  is  yet  more  famous  for  his  devotion  to  our  Bless- 
ed Lady,  whose  Feast  of  the  Immaculate  Conception  he  was  the 
first  to  establish  in  the  West.    He  died  a.d.  1109. 

Reflection. — Whoever,  like  St.  Anselm,  contends  for  the 
Church's  rights,  is  fighting  on  the  side  of  God  against  the  tyranny 
of  Satan. 


>c^5  T.  SOTER  was  raised  to  the  papacy  upon  the  death  of  St.  Ani- 
y^2)  cetus,  in  173.  By  the  sweetness  of  his  discourses,  he  com- 
forted all  persons  with  the  tenderness  of  a  father,  and  assisted 
the  indigent  with  liberal  alms,  especially  those  who  suffered  for  the 
faith.  He  liberally  extended  his  charities,  according  to  the  cus- 
tom of  his  predecessors,  to  remote  churches,  particularly  to  that  of 
Corinth,  to  which  he  addressed  an  excellent  letter,  as  St.  Dionysius 
of  Corinth  testifies  in  his  letter  of  thanks,  who  adds  that  his  letter 
was  found  worthy  to  be  read  for  their  edification  on  Sundays 
at  their  assemblies  to  celebrate  the  divine  mysteries,  together  with 
the  letter  of  St.  Clement,  pope.  St.  Soter  vigorously  opposed  the 
heresy  of  Montanus,  and  governed  the  Church  to  the  year  177. 

April  22.] 




^Tf^HE  emperor  Severus,  in  the  year  202,  which  was  the  tenth  of 
•wK*  his  reign,  raised  a  bloody  persecution,  which  filled  the  whole 
empire  with  martyrs,  but  especially  Egypt.  The  most  illus- 
trious of  those  who,  by  their  triumphs,  ennobled  and  edified  the 
city  of  Alexandria,  was  Leonides,  father  of  the  great  Origen.  He 
was  a  Christian  philosopher,  and  excellently  versed  both  in  the 
profane  and  sacred  sciences.  He  had  seven  sons,  the  eldest  of 
whom  was  Origen,  whom  he  brought  up  with  abundance  of  care, 
returning  God  thanks  for  having  blessed  him  with  a  son  of  such 

an  excellent  disposition  for  learning,  and  a  very  great  zeal  for 
piety.  These  qualifications  endeared  him  greatly  to  his  father, 
who,  after  his  son  was  baptized,  would  come  to  his  bedside  while 
he  was  asleep,  and,  opening  his  bosom,  kiss  it  respectfully,  as  be- 
ing the  temple  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  When  the  persecution  raged 
at  Alexandria,  under  Laetus,  governor  of  Egypt,  in  the  tenth  year 
of  Severus,  Leonides  was  cast  into  prison.  Origen,  who  was  then 
only  seventeen  years  of  age,  burned  with  an  incredible  desire  of 
martyrdom,  and  sought  every  opportunity  of  meeting  with  it. 
But  his  mother  conjured  him  not  to  forsake  her,  and  his  ardor 
being  redoubled  at  the  sight  of  his  father's  chains,  she  was  forced 
to  lock  up  all  his  clothes  to  oblige  him  to  stay  at  home.    So  not 



[April  23. 

being  able  to  do  any  more,  he  wrote  a  letter  to  his  father  in  very 
moving  terms,  strongly  exhorting  him  to  look  on  the  crown  that 
was  offered  him  with  courage  and  joy,  adding  this  clause,  "  Take 
heed,  Sir,  that  for  our  sakes  you  do  not  change  your  mind."  Le- 
onides  was  accordingly  beheaded  for  the  faith  in  202.  His  estates 
and  goods  being  all  confiscated,  and  seized  for  the  emperor's  use, 
his  widow  was  left  with  seven  children  to  maintain  in  the  poorest 
condition  imaginable  ;  but  Divine  Providence  was  both  her  com- 
fort and  support. 


T.  GEORGE  was  born  in  Cappadocia,  at  the  close  of  the  third 
V«S)  century,  of  Christian  parents.    In  early  youth  he  chose  a  sol- 
dier's life,  and  soon  obtained  the  favor  of  Diocletian,  who 
advanced  him  to  the  grade  of  tribune.    When,  however,  the  Em- 
peror began  to  persecute  the  Christians,  George  rebuked  him  at 
once  sternly  and  openly  for  his  cruelty,  and  threw  up  his  commis- 

sion. He  was  in  consequence  subjected  to  a  lengthened  series  of 
torments,  and  finally  beheaded.  There  was  something  so  inspirit- 
ing in  the  defiant  cheerfulness  of  the  young  soldier  that  every 
Christian  felt  a  personal  share  in  this  triumph  of  Christian  forti- 
tude ;  and  as  years  rolled  on,  St.  George  became  a  type  of  succes- 

April  24.] 



ful  combat  against  evil,  the  slayer  of  the  dragon,  the  darling  theme 
of  camp  song  and  story,  until  "  so  thick  a  shade  his  very  glory  round 
him  made"  that  his  real  lineaments  became  hard  to  trace.  Even  be- 
yond the  circle  of  Christendom  he  was  held  in  honor,  and  invading 
Saracens  taught  themselves  to  except  from  desecration  the  image  of 
him  they  hailed  as  the  "  White-horsed  Knight."  The  devotion  to  St. 
George  is  one  of  the  most  ancient  and  widely  spread  in  the  Church. 
In  the  East,  a  church  of  St.  George  is  ascribed  to  Constantine,  and 
his  name  is  invoked  in  the  most  ancient  liturgies  ;  whilst  in  the 
West,  Malta,  Barcelona,  Valencia,  Arragon,  Genoa,  and  England 
have  chosen  him  as  their  patron. 

Reflection. — "  What  shall  I  say  of  fortitude,  without  which 
neither  wisdom  nor  justice  is  of  any  worth  ?  Fortitude  is  not  of 
the  body,  but  is  a  constancy  of  soul ;  wherewith  we  are  conquerors 
in  righteousness,  patiently  bear  all  adversities,  and  in  prosperity 
are  not  puffed  up.  This  fortitude  he  lacks  who  is  overcome  by 
pride,  anger,  greed,  drunkenness,  and  the  like.  Neither  have  they 
fortitude  who  when  in  adversity  make  shift  to  escape  at  their 
souls'  expense  ;  wherefore  the  Lord  saith,  '  Fear  not  those  who 
kill  the  body,  but  cannot  kill  the  soul.'  In  like  manner  those 
who  are  puffed  up  in  prosperity  and  abandon  themselves  to  exces- 
sive joviality  cannot  be  called  strong.  For  how  can  they  be  called 
strong  who  cannot  hide  and  repress  the  heart's  emotion  ?  Forti- 
tude is  never  conquered,  or  if  conquered,  is  not  fortitude." — Sf. 


^[ji^IDELIS  was  born  at  Sigmaringen  in  1577,  of  noble  parents 
In  his  youth  he  frequently  approached  the  Sacraments, 
visited  the  sick  and  the  poor,  and  spent  moreover  many 
hours  before  the  altar.  For  a  time  he  followed  the  legal  pro- 
fession, and  was  remarkable  for  his  advocacy  of  the  poor  and  his 
respectful  language  towards  his  opponents.  Finding  it  difficult 
to  become  both  a  rich  lawyer  and  a  good  Christian,  Fidelis 
entered  the  Capuchin  Order,  and  embraced  a  life  of  austerity  and 
prayer.  Hair  shirts,  iron-pointed  girdles  and  disciplines  were 
penances  too  light  for  his  fervor,  and  being  filled  with  a  desire  of 
martyrdom,  he  rejoiced  at  being  sent  to  Switzerland  by  the  newly- 
founded  Congregation  of  Propaganda,  and  braved  every  peril  to 
rescue  souls  from  the  diabolical  heresy  of  Calvin.  When  preach- 
ing at  Sevis,  he  was  fired  at  by  a  Calvinist,  but  the  fear  of  death 



[April  25. 

could  not  deter  him  from  proclaiming  divine  truth.  After  his 
sermon,  he  was  waylaid  by  a  body  of  Protestants  headed  by  a 
minister,  who  attacked  him  and  tried  to  force  him  to  embrace 
their  so-called  reform.  But  he  said,  "  I  came  to  refute  your 
errors,  not  to  embrace  them ;  I  will  never  renounce  Catholic  doc- 
trine, which  is  the  truth  of  all  ages,  and  I  fear  not  death."  On 
this  they  fell  upon  him  with  their  poignards,  and  the  first  martyr 
of  Propaganda  went  to  receive  his  palm. 

Reflection. — We  delight  in  decorating  the  altars  of  God  with 
flowers,  lights,  and  jewels,  and  it  is  right  to  do  so  ;  but  if  we  wish 
to  offer  to  God  gifts  of  higher  value,  let  us,  in  imitation  of  St. 
Fidelis,  save  the  souls  who  but  for  us  would  be  lost ;  for  so  we 
shall  offer  him,  as  it  were,  the  jewels  of  paradise. 


fT.  MARK  was  converted  to  the  faith  by  the  Prince  of  the 
Apostles,  whom  he  afterwards  accompanied  to  Rome,  act- 
ing there  as  his  secretary  or  interpreter.    When  St.  Peter 
was  writing  his  first  Epistle  to  the  Churches  of  Asia,  he  affec- 
tionately joins  with  his  own  salutation  that  of  his  faithful  com- 
panion, whom  he  calls  "  my  son  Mark."    The  Roman  people  en- 

April  25.] 



treated  St.  Mark  to  put  in  writing  for  them  the  substance  of  St. 
Peter's  frequent  discourses  on  our  Lord's  life.  This  the  Evange- 
list did  under  the  eye  and  with  the  express  sanction  of  the  Apos- 
tle, and  every  page  of  his  brief  but  graphic  Gospel  so  bore  the 
impress  of  St.  Peter's  character,  that  the  Fathers  used  to  name  it 
"  Peter's  Gospel."  St.  Mark  was  now  sent  to  Egypt  to  found  the 
Church  of  Alexandria.  Here  his  disciples  became  the  wonder  of 
the  world  for  their  piety  and  asceticism,  so  that  St.  Jerome  speaks 
of  St.  Mark  as  the  father  of  the  anchorites,  who  at  a  later  time 
thronged  the  Egyptian  deserts.  Here  too  he  set  up  the  first 
Christian  school,  the  fruitful  mother  of  many  illustrious  doctors 
and  bishops.  After  governing  his  see  for  many  years,  St.  Mark 
was  one  day  seized  by  the  heathen,  dragged  by  ropes  over  stones, 
and  thrown  into  prison.  On  the  morrow  the  torture  was  repeated, 
and  having  been  consoled  by  a  vision  of  angels  and  the  voice  of 
Jesus,  St.  Mark  went  to  his  reward. 

It  is  to  St.  Mark  that  we  owe  the  many  slight  touches  which 
often  give  such  vivid  coloring  to  the  Gospel  scenes,  and  help  us 
to  picture  to  ourselves  the  very  gestures  and  looks  of  our  Blessed 
Lord.  It  is  he  alone  who  notes  that  in  the  Temptation  Jesus  was 
"  with  the  beasts  ;"  that  He  slept  in  the  boat  "  on  a  pillow  ;"  that 
He  "embraced"  the  little  children.  He  alone  preserves  for  us 
the  commanding  words  "Peace,  be  still!"  by  which  the  storm 

I98  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [April  26. 

was  quelled ;  or  even  the  very  sounds  of  His  voice,  the  "  Eph- 
phetha"  and  "  Talitha  cum i,"  by  which  the  dumb  were  made  to 
speak  and  the  dead  to  rise.  So  too  the  "  looking  round  about 
with  anger,"  and  the  "sighing  deeply,"  long  treasured  in  the 
memory  of  the  penitent  Apostle,  who  was  himself  converted  by 
his  Saviour's  look,  are  here  recorded  by  his  faithful  interpreter. 

Reflection. — Learn  from  St.  Mark  to  keep  the  image  of  the 
Son  of  Man  ever  before  your  mind,  and  to  ponder  every  syllable 
which  fell  from  His  lips. 



•^gfcj  T.  CLETUS  was  the  third  Bishop  of  Rome,  and  succeeded 
jkS)  St.  Linus,  which  circumstance  alone  shows  his  eminent  vir- 
tue among  the  first  disciples  of  St.  Peter  in  the  West.  He 
sat  twelve  years,  from  76  to  89.  The  canon  of  the  Roman  mass, 
13ede,  and  other  martyrologists  style  him  a  martyr.    He  was 

buried  near  St.  Linus,  on  the  Vatican,  and  his  relics  still  remain 
in  that  church. 

St.  Marcellinus  succeeded  St.  Caius  in  the  Bishopric  of  Rome 
in  296,  about  the  time  that  Diocletian  set  himself  up  for  a  deity, 

April  27.] 


and  impiously  claimed  divine  honors.  In  those  stormy  times 
of  persecution,  Marcellinus  acquired  great  glory.  He  sat  in  St. 
Peter's  chair  eight  years,  three  months,  and  twenty-five  days, 
dying  in  304,  a  year  after  the  cruel  persecution  broke  out,  in 
which  he  gained  much  honor.  He  has  been  styled  a  martyr, 
though  his  blood  was  not  shed  in  the  cause  of  religion. 

Reflection. — It  is  a  fundamental  maxim  of  the  Christian 
morality,  and  a  truth  which  Christ  has  established  in  the  clearest 
terms,  and  in  innumerable  passages  of  the  Gospel,  that  the  cross 
or  sufferings  and  mortification  are  the  road  to  eternal  bliss. 
They,  therefore,  who  lead  not  here  a  crucified  and  mortified  life, 
•are  unworthy  ever  to  possess  the  unspeakable  joys  of  His  king- 
dom. Our  Lord  himself,  our  model  and  our  head,  walked  in  this 
path,  and  His  great  Apostle  puts  us  in  mind  that  he  entered  into 
bliss  only  by  his  blood  and  by  the  cross. 

]f     APRIL  27.— ST.  ZITA,  VIRGIN. 

ITA  lived  for  forty-eight  years  in  the  service  of  Fatinelli,  a 
citizen  of  Lucca.  During  this  time  she  rose  each  morning, 
while  the  household  were  asleep,  to  hear  Mass,  and  then 
toiled  incessantly  till  night  came,  doing  the  work  of  others  as 
well  as  her  own.  Once  Zita,  absorbed  in  prayer,  remained  in 
church  past  the  usual  hour  of  her  bread-making.  She  hastened 
home,  reproaching  herself  with  neglect  of  duty,  and  found  the 
bread  made  and  ready  for  the  oven.  She  never  doubted  that  her 
mistress  or  one  of  her  servants  had  kneaded  it,  and  going  to  them, 
thanked  them  ;  but  they  were  astonished.  No  human  being  had 
made  the  bread.  A  delicious  perfume  rose  from  it,  for  angels  had 
made  it  during  her  prayer.  For  years  her  master  and  mistress 
treated  her  as  a  mere  drudge,  while  her  fellow-servants,  resenting 
her  diligence  as  a  reproach  to  themselves,  insulted  and  struck  her. 
Zita  united  these  sufferings  with  those  of  Christ  her  Lord,  never 
changing  the  sweet  tone  of  her  voice,  nor  forgetting  her  gentle 
and  quiet  ways.  At  length  Fatinelli,  seeing  the  success  which 
attended  her  undertakings,  gave  her  charge  of  his  children  and  of 
the  household.  She  dreaded  this  dignity  more  than  the  worst 
humiliation,  but  scrupulously  fulfilled  her  trust.  By  her  holy 
economy  her  master's  goods  were  multiplied,  while  the  poor  were 
fed  at  his  door.  Gradually  her  unfailing  patience  conquered  the 
jealousy  of  her  fellow-servants,  and  she  became  their  advocate  with 



[April  28. 

their  hot-tempered  master,  who  dared  .not  give  way  to  his  anger 
before  Zita.  In  the  end  her  prayer  and  toil  sanctified  the  whole 
house,  and  drew  down  upon  it  the  benediction  of  Heaven.  She 
died  a.d.  1272,  and  in  the  moment  of  her  death  a  bright  star  ap- 
pearing above  her  attic  showed  that  she  had  gained  eternal  rest. 

Reflection. — "  What  must  I  do  to  be  saved  ?"  said  a  certain  one 
in  fear  of  damnation.  "  Work  and  pray,  pray  and  work,"  a  voice 
replied,  "  and  thou  shalt  be  saved."  The  whole  life  of  St.  Zita 
teaches  us  this  truth. 


tHE  eighty-one  years  of  this  Saint's  life  were  modelled  on  the 
Passion  of  Jesus  Christ.  In  his  childhood,  when  praying  in 
church,  a  heavy  bench  fell  on  his  foot,  but  the  boy  took  no 
notice  of  the  bleeding  wound,  and  spoke  of  it  as  "  a  rose  sent  from 
God."  A  few  years  later,  the  vision  of  a  scourge  with  "  love" 
written  on  its  lashes  assured  him  that  his  thirst  for  penance  would 
be  satisfied.  In  the  hope  of  dying  for  the  Faith,  he  enlisted  in  a 
crusade  against  the  Turks;  but  a  voice  from  the  Tabernacle 
warned  him  that  he  was  to  serve  Christ  alone,  and  that  he  should 
found  a  congregation  in  His  honor.    At  the  command  of  his 

April  28.] 



bishop  he  began  while  a  layman  to  preach  the  Passion,  and  a 
series  of  crosses  tried  the  reality  of  his  vocation.  All  his  first 
companions,  save  his  brother,  deserted  him ;  the  Sovereign  Pon- 
tiff refused  him  an  audience ;  and  it  was  only  after  a  delay  of 
seventeen  years  that  the  Papal  approbation  was  obtained,  and  the 
first  house  of  the  Passionists  was  opened  on  Monte  Argentario, 
the  spot  which  our  Lady  had  pointed  out.  St.  Paul  chose  as  the 
badge  of  his  Order  a  heart  with  three  nails,  in  memory  of  the  suf- 
ferings of  Jesus,  but  for  himself  he  invented  a  more  secret  and 
durable  sign.  Moved  by  the  same  holy  impulse  as  Blessed  Henry 
Suso,  St.  Jane  Frances,  and  other  Saints,  he  branded  on  his  side 
the  Holy  Name,  and  its  characters  were  found  there  after  death. 
His  heart  beat  with  a  supernatural  palpitation,  which  was  especi- 
ally vehement  on  Fridays,  and  the  heat  at  times  was  so  intense  as 
to  scorch  his  shirt  in  the  region  of  his  heart.  Through  fifty  years 
of  incessant  bodily  pain,  and  amidst  all  his  trials,  Paul  read  the  love 
of  Jesus  everywhere,  and  would  cry  out  to  the  flowers  and  grass, 
"  Oh!  be  quiet,  be  quiet,"  as  if  they  were  reproaching  him  with  in- 
gratitude. He  died  whilst  the  Passion  was  being  read  to  him, 
and  so  passed  with  Jesus  from  the  cross  to  glory. 


T.  VITALIS  was  a  citizen  of  Milan,  and  is  said  to  have  been 
the  father  of  SS.  Gervasius  and  Protasius.  The  divine  pro- 
vidence conducted  him  to  Ravenna,  where  he  saw  a  Christian 
named  Ursicinus,  who  was  condemned  to  lose  his  head  for  his 
faith,- standing  aghast  at  the  sight  of  death,  and  seeming  ready  to 
yield.  Vitalis  was  extremely  moved  at  this  spectacle.  He  knew 
his  double  obligation  of  preferring  the  glory  of  God  and  the 
eternal  salvation  of  his  neighbor  to  his  own  corporal  life :  he 
therefore  boldly  and  successfully  encouraged  Ursicinus  to  tri- 
umph over  death,  and  after  his  martyrdom,  carried  off  his  body, 
and  respectfully  interred  it.  The  judge,  whose  name  was  Pau- 
linus,  being  informed  of  this,  caused  Vitalis  to  be  apprehended, 
stretched  on  the  rack,  and,  after  other  torments,  to  be  buried  alive 
in  a  place  called  the  Palm-tree,  in  Ravenna.  His  wife,  Valeria, 
returning  from  Ravenna  to  Milan,  was  beaten  to  death  by  peasants, 
because  she  refused  to  join  them  in  an  idolatrous  festival  and  riot. 

Reflection. — We  are  not  all  called  to  the  sacrifice  of  martyr- 
dom ;  but  we  are  all  bound  to  make  our  lives  a  continued  sacri- 



[April  29. 

fice  of  ourselves  to  God,  and  to  perform  every  action  in  this  per- 
fect spirit  of  sacrifice.  Thus  we  shall  both  live  and  die  to  God, 
perfectly  resigned  to  His  holy  will  in  all  His  appointments. 


JTLN  1205  the  glorious  martyr  Peter  was  born  at  Verona  of 
^  heretical  parents.  He  went  to  a  Catholic  school,  and  his 
Manichean  uncle  asked  what  he  learnt.  "  The  Creed,"  answered 
Peter;  "  I  believe  in  God,  Creator  of  heaven  and  earth."  No  per- 
suasion could  shake  his  faith,  and  at  fifteen  he  received  the  habit 
from  St.  Dominic  himself  at  Bologna.  After  ordination,  he 
preached  to  the  heretics  of  Lombardy,  and  converted  multitudes. 
St.  Peter  was  constantly  obliged  to  dispute  with  heretics,  and  al- 
though he  was  able  to  confound  them,  still  the  devil  took  occasion 
thence  to  tempt  him  once  against  faith.  Instantly  he  had  recourse 
to  prayer  before  an  image  of  our  Lady,  and  heard  a  voice  saying 
to  him  the  words  of  Jesus  Christ  in  the  Gospel,  "  I  have  prayed 
for  thee,  Peter,  that  thy  faith  may  not  fail;  and  thou  shalt  con- 
firm thy  brethren  in  it."  Once  when  exhorting  a  vast  crowd 
under  the  burning  sun,  the  heretics  defied  him  to  procure  shade. 
He  prayed,  and  a  cloud  overshadowed  the  audience.  In  spite  of 
his  sanctity,  he  was  foully  slandered  and  even  punished  for  immor- 
ality.   He  submitted  humbly,  but  complained  in  prayer  to  Jesus 

April  29.] 



crucified.  The  crucifix  spoke,  "And  I,  Peter,  what  did  I  do?" 
Every  day,  as  he  elevated  at  Mass  the  Precious  Blood,  he  prayed, 
"Grant,  Lord,  that  I  may  die  for  Thee,  who  for  me  didst  die." 
His  prayer  was  answered.  The  heretics,  confounded  by  him, 
sought  his  life.  Two  of  them  attacked  him  as  he  was  returning 
to  Milan,  and  struck  his  head  with  an  axe.  St.  Peter  fell,  com- 
mended himself  to  God,  dipped  his  finger  in  his  own  blood,  and 
wrote  on  the  ground,  "  I  believe  in  God,  Creator  of  heaven  and 
earth."  They  then  stabbed  him  in  the  side,  and  he  received  his 

Reflection. — From  a  boy  St.  Peter  boldly  professed  his  faith 
amongst  heretics.  He  spent  his  life  in  preaching  the  Faith  to 
heretics,  and  received  the  glorious  and  long-desired  crown  of  mar- 
tyrdom from  heretics.  We  are  surrounded  by  heretics.  Are  we 
courageous,  firm,  zealous,  full  of  prayer  for  their  conversion,  un- 
flinching in  our  profession  of  faith  ? 


T.  HUGH  was  a  prince  related  to  the  sovereign  house  of  the 
1  dukes  of  Burgundy,  and  had  his  education  under  the  tuition 
of  his  pious  mother,  and  under  the  care  of  Hugh,  bishop  of 

Auxerre,  his  great-uncle.  From  his  infancy  he  was  exceedingly 
given  to  prayer  and  meditation,  and  his  life  was  remarkably  inno- 



[April  30. 

cent  and  holy.  One  day  hearing  an  account  of  the  wonderful 
sanctity  of  the  monks  of  Cluni,  under  St.  Odilo,  he  was  so  moved 
that  he  set  out  that  moment,  and  going  thither,  humbly  begged 
the  monastic  habit.  After  a  rigid  novitiate,  he  made  his  profes- 
sion in  1039,  being  sixteen  years  old.  His  extraordinary  virtue, 
especially  his  admirable  humility,  obedience,  charity,  sweetness, 
prudence,  and  zeal,  gained  him  the  respect  of  the  whole  commun- 
ity; and  upon  the  death  of  Saint  Odilo,  in  1049,  though  only 
twenty-five  years  old,  he  succeeded  to  the  government  of  that 
great  abbey,  which  he  held  sixty-two  years.  He  received  to  the 
religious  profession  Hugh,  duke  of  "Burgundy,  and  died  on  the 
twenty-ninth  of  April,  in  1109,  aged  eighty-five.  He  was  canon- 
ized twelve  years  after  his  death  by  Pope  Calixtus  II. 


fATHERINE,  the  daughter  of  a  humble  tradesman,  was 
raised  up  to  be  the  guide  and  guardian  of  the  Church  in 
one  of  the  darkest  periods  of  its  history,  the  fourteenth  cen- 
tury. As  a  child,  prayer  was  her  delight.  She  would  say  the 
"  Hail  Mary"  on  each  step  as  she  mounted  the  stairs,  and  was 
granted  in  reward  a  vision  of  Christ  in  glory.  When  but  seven 
years  old,  she  made  a  vow  of  virginity,  and  afterwards  endured 
bitter  persecution  for  refusing  to  marry.  Our  Lord  gave  her  His 
Heart  in  exchange  for  her  own,  communicated  her  with  His  own 
hands,  and  stamped  on  her  body  the  print  of  His  wounds.  At  the 
age  of  fifteen  she  entered  the  Third  Order  of  St.  Dominic,  but 
continued  to  reside  in  her  father's  shop,  where  she  united  a  life 
of  active  charity  with  the  prayer  of  a  contemplative  Saint.  From 
this  obscure  home  the  seraphic  virgin  was  summoned  to  defend 
the  Church's  cause.  Armed  with  Papal  authority,  and  accompa- 
nied by  three  confessors,  she  travelled  through  Italy,  reducing 
rebellious  cities  to  the  obedience  of  the  Holy  See,  and  winning 
hardened  souls  to  God.  In  the  face  well-nigh  of  the  whole  world 
she  sought  out  Gregory  XI.  at  Avignon,  brought  him  back  to 
Rome,  and  by  her  letters  to  the  kings  and  queens  of  Europe  made 
good  the  Papal  cause.  She  was  the  counsellor  of  Urban  VI.,  and 
sternly  rebuked  the  disloyal  cardinals  who  had  part  in  electing  an 
Anti-pope.  Long  had  the  holy  virgin  foretold  the  terrible  schism 
which  began  ere  she  died.  Day  and  night  she  wept  and  prayed 
for  unity  and  peace.  But  the  devil  excited  the  Roman  people 
against  the  Pope,  so  that  some  sought  the  life  of  Christ's  Vicar. 

May  I.] 



With  intense  earnestness  did  St.  Catherine  beg  our  Lord  to  pre- 
vent this  enormous  crime.  In  spirit  she  saw  the  whole  city  full 
of  demons  tempting  the  people  to  resist  and  even  slay  the  Pope. 
The  seditious  temper  was  subdued  by  Catherine's  prayers;  but 
the  devils  vented  their  malice  by  scourging  the  Saint  herself,  who 
gladly  endured  all  for  God  and  His  Church.  She  died  at  Rome 
at  the  age  of  thirty-three,  a.d.  1380. 

Reflection. — The  seraphic  St.  Catherine  willingly  sacrificed 
the  delights  of  contemplation  to  labor  for  the  Church  and  the 
Apostolic  See.  How  deeply  do  the  troubles  of  the  Church  and 
the  consequent  loss  of  souls  afflict  us  ?  How  often  do  we  pray 
for  the  Church  and  the  Pope  ? 


kTr)HILIP  was  one  of  the  first  chosen  disciples  of  Christ.  On 
«/lh^  the  way  from  Judaea  to  Galilee,  our  Lord  found  Philip,  and 
said,  "Follow  Me."  Philip  straightway  obeyed;  and  then 
in  his  zeal  and  charity  sought  to  win  Nathaniel  also,  saying,  "  We 
have  found  Him  of  whom  Moses  and  the  prophets  did  write,  Je- 
sus of  Nazareth  ;"  and  when  Nathaniel  in  wonder  asked,  "  Can 
any  good  come  out  of  Nazareth?"  Philip  simply  answered,  "Come 



[May  k 

and  see,"  and  brought  him  to  Jesus.  Another  characteristic  say- 
ing  of  this  Apostle  is  preserved  for  us  by  St.  John.  Christ  in 
His  last  discourse  had  spoken  of  His  Father;  and  Philip  ex- 
claimed  in  the  fervor  of  his  thirst  for  God,  "  Lord,  show  us  the 
Father,  and  it  is  enough." 

St.  James  the  Less,  the  author  of  an  inspired  Epistle,  was  also 
one  of  the  Twelve.  St.  Paul  tells  us  that  he  was  favored  by  a 
special  apparition  of  Christ  after  the  Resurrection.  On  the  dis- 
persion of  the  Apostles  among  the  nations,  St.  James  was  left  as. 
Bishop  of  Jerusalem  ;  and  even  the  Jews  held  in  such  high  vener- 

ation his  purity,  mortification,  and  prayer,  that  they  named  him 
the  Just.  The  earliest  of  Church  historians  has  handed  down 
many  traditions  of  St.  James's  sanctity.  He  was  always  a  virgin, 
says  Hegesippus,  and  consecrated  to  God.  He  drank  no  wine, 
wore  no  sandals  on  his  feet,  and  but  a  single  garment  on  his  body. 
He  prostrated  himself  so  much  in  prayer  that  the  skin  of  his  knees 
was  hardened  like  a  camel's  hoof.  The  Jews,  it  is  said,  used  out 
of  respect  to  touch  the  hem  of  his  garment.  He  was  indeed  a 
living  proof  of  his  own  words,  "  The  wisdom  that  is  from  above 
first  indeed  is  chaste,  then  peaceable,  modest,  full  of  mercy  and 
good  fruits."  He  sat  beside  St.  Peter  and  St.  Paul  at  the  Council 
of  Jerusalem  ;  and  when  St.  Paul  at  a  later  time  escaped  the  fury 
of  the  Jews  by  appealing  to  Caesar,  the  people  took  vengeance  on 

May  2.] 



James,  and  crying,  "  The  just  one  hath  erred,"  stoned  him  to 

Reflection. — The  Church  commemorates  on  the  same  day  SS. 
Philip  and  James,  whose  bodies  lie  side  by  side  at  Rome.  They 
represent  to  us  two  aspects  of  Christian  holiness.  The  first 
preaches  faith,  the  second  works ;  the  one  holy  aspirations,  the 
other  purity  of  heart. 


tTHANASIUS  was  born  in  Egypt  towards  the  end  of  the 
third  century,  and  was  from  his  youth  pious,  learned,  and 
deeply  versed  in  the  sacred  writings,  as  befitted  one  whom 
God  had  chosen  to  be  the  champion  and  defender  of  His  Church 
against  the  Arian  heresy.  Though  only  a  deacon,  he  was  chosen 
by  his  bishop  to  go  with  him  to  the  Council  of  Nicaea,  a.d.  325, 
and  attracted  the  attention  of  all  by  the  learning  and  ability  with 

which  he  defended  the  Faith.  A  few  months  later,  he  became  Pa- 
triarch of  Alexandria,  and  for  forty-six  years  he  bore,  often  well- 
nigh  alone,  the  whole  brunt  of  the  Arian  assault.  On  the  refusal 
of  the  Saint  to  restore  Arius  to  Catholic  communion,  the  emperor 
ordered  the  Patriarch  of  Constantinople  to  do  so.    The  wretched 



[May  3. 

heresiarch  took  an  oath  that  he  had  always  believed  as  the  Church 
believes  ;  and  the  patriarch,  after  vainly  using  every  effort  to  move 
the  emperor,  had  recourse  to  fasting  and  prayer,  that  God  would 
avert  from  the  Church  the  frightful  sacrilege.  The  day  came  for 
the  solemn  entrance  of  Arius  into  the  great  church  of  Sancta  So- 
phia. The  heresiarch  and  his  party  set  out  glad  and  in  triumph.  But 
before  he  reached  the  church,  death  smote  him  swiftly  and  awfully, 
and  the  dreaded  sacrilege  was  averted.  St.  Athanasius  stood  un- 
moved against  four  Roman  emperors;  was  banished  five  times; 
was  the  butt  of  every  insult,  calumny,  and  wrong  the  Arians  could 
devise,  and  lived  in  constant  peril  of  death.  Though  firm  as  ada- 
mant in  defence  of  the  Faith,  he  was  meek  and  humble,  pleasant 
and  winning  in  converse,  beloved  by  his  flock,  unwearied  in  la- 
bors, in  prayer,  in  mortifications,  and  in  zeal  for  souls.  In  the 
year  373  his  stormy  life  closed  in  peace,  rather  that  his  people 
would  have  it  so  than  that  his  enemies  were  weary  of  persecuting 
him.  He  left  to  the  Church  the  whole  and  ancient  Faith,  defend- 
ed and  explained  in  writings  rich  in  thought  and  learning,  clear, 
keen,  and  stately  in-  expression.  He  is  honored  as  one  of  the 
greatest  of  the  Doctors  of  the  Church. 

Reflection. — The  Catholic  Faith,  says  St.  Augustine,  is  more 
precious  far  than  all  the  riches  and  treasures  of  earth  ;  more  glo- 
rious and  greater  than  all  its  honors,  all  its  possessions.  This  it 
is  which  saves  sinners,  gives  light  to  the  blind,  restores  penitents, 
perfects  the  just,  and  is  the  crown  of  martyrs. 



OD  having  restored  peace  to  His  Church,  by  exalting  Con- 
stantine  the  Great  to  the  imperial  throne,  that  pious  prince, 
who  had  triumphed  over  his  enemies  by  the  miraculous 
power  of  the  Cross,  was  very  desirous  of  expressing  his  veneration 
for  the  holy  places  which  had  been  honored  and  sanctified  by  the 
presence  and  sufferings  of  our  blessed  Redeemer  on  earth,  and 
accordingly  resolved  to  build  a  magnificent  church  in  the  city  of 
Jerusalem.  St.  Helen,  the  emperor's  mother,  desiring  to  visit  the 
holy  places  there,  undertook  a  journey  into  Palestine  in  326, 
though  at  that  time  near  eighty  years  of  age ;  and  on  her  arrival 
at  Jerusalem,  was  inspired  with  a  great  desire  to  find  the  identical 
cross  on  which  Christ  had  suffered  for  our  sins.  But  there  was 
no  mark  or  tradition,  even  amongst  the  Christians,  to  show  where 

May  3.] 



it  lay.  The  heathens,  out  of  an  aversion  to  Christianity,  had  done 
what  they  could  to  conceal  the  place  where  our  Saviour  was 
buried,  by  heaping  on  it  a  great  quantity  of  stones  and  rubbish, 
and  building  on  it  a  temple  to  Venus.  They  had,  moreover, 
erected  a  statue  of  Jupiter  in  the  place  where  our  Saviour  rose 
from  the  dead.  Helen,  to  carry  out  her  pious  design,  consulted 
every  one  at  Jerusalem  and  near  it,  whom  she  thought  likely  to 
assist  her  in  finding  out  the  cross  ;  and  was  credibly  informed  that, 
if  she  could  find  out  the  sepulchre,  she  would  likewise  find  the  in- 
struments of  the  punishment ;  it  being  the  custom  among  the  Jews 

to  make  a  hole  near  the  place  where  the  body  of  a  criminal  was 
buried,  and  to  throw  into  it  whatever  belonged  to  his  execution. 
The  pious  empress,  therefore,  ordered  the  profane  buildings  to  be 
pulled  down,  the  statues  to  be  broken  in  pieces,  and  the  rubbish 
to  be  removed;  and,  upon  digging  to  a  great  depth,  the  holy 
sepulchre,  and  near  it  three  crosses,  also  the  nails  which  had 
pierced  our  Saviour's  body,  and  the  title  which  had  been  fixed  to 
His  cross,  were  found.  By  this  discovery,  they  knew  that  one  of 
the  three  crosses  was  that  which  they  were  in  quest  of,  and  that 
the  others  belonged  to  the  two  malefactors  between  whom  our 
Saviour  had  been  crucified.  But,  as  the  title  was  found  separate 
from  the  cross,  it  was  difficult  to  distinguish  which  of  the  three 
crosses  was  that  on  which  our  Divine  Redeemer  consummated  his 



[May  3. 

sacrifice  for  the  salvation  of  the  world.  In  this  perplexity  the 
holy  Bishop  Macarius,  knowing  that  one  of  the  principal  ladies  of 
the  city  lay  extremely  ill,  suggested  to  the  empress  to  cause  the 
three  crosses  to  be  carried  to  the  sick  person,  not  doubting  but 
God  would  discover  which  was  the  cross  they  sought  for.  This 
being  done,  St.  Macarius  prayed  that  God  would  have  regard  to 
their  faith,  and,  after  his  prayer,  applied  the  crosses  singly  to  the 
patient,  who  was  immediately  and  perfectly  recovered  by  the 
touch  of  one  of  the  three  crosses,  the  other  two  having  been  tried 
without  effect.  St.  Helen,  full  of  joy  at  having  found  the  trea- 
sure which  she  had  so  earnestly  sought  and  so  highly  esteemed, 
built  a  church  on  the  spot,  and  lodged  the  cross  there  with  great 
veneration,  having  provided  an  extraordinarily  rich  case  for  it. 
She  afterward  carried  part  of  it  to  the  Emperor  Constantine,  then 
at  Constantinople,  who  received  it  with  great  veneration ;  another 
part  she  sent  or  rather  carried  to  Rome,  to  be  placed  in  the  church 
which  she  had  built  there,  called  Of  the  Holy  Cross  of  Jerusalem, 
where  it  remains  to  this  day.  The  title  was  sent  by  St.  Helen  to 
the  same  church,  and  "placed  on  the  top  of  an  arch,  where  it  was 
found  in  a  case  of  lead  in  1492.  The  inscription  in  Hebrew,  Greek, 
and  Latin  is  in  red  letters,  and  the  wood  was  whitened.  Thus  it 
was  in  1492  ;  but  these  colors  are  since  faded.  Also  the  words  Jesus 
and  Judceorum  are  eaten  away.  The  board  is  nine,  but  must  have 
been  twelve  inches  long.  The  main  part  of  the  cross  St.  Helen 
inclosed  in  a  silver  shrine,  and  committed  to  the  care  of  St.  Maca- 
rius, that  it  might  be  delivered  down  to  posterity,  as  an  object  of 
veneration.  It  was  accordingly  kept  with  singular  care  and  respect 
in  the  magnificent  church  which  she  and  her  son  built  in  Jerusa- 
lem. St.  Paulinus  relates  that,  though  chips  were  almost  daily  cut 
off  from  it  and  given  to  devout  persons,  yet  the  sacred  wood  suf- 
fered thereby  no  diminution.  It  is  affirmed  by  St.  Cyril  of  Jerusa- 
lem, twenty-five  years  after  the  discovery,  that  pieces  of  the  cross 
were  spread  all  over  the  earth ;  he  compares  this  wonder  to  the 
miraculous  feeding  of  five  thousand  men,  as  recorded  in  the  Gospel. 
The  discovery  of  the  cross  must  have  happened  about  the  month 
of  May,  or  early  in  the  spring.  For  St.  Helen  went  the  same  year 
to  Constantinople,  and  from  thence  to  Rome,  where  she  died  in 
the  arms  of  her  son,  on  the  18th  of  August,  326. 

Reflection. — In  every  pious  undertaking,  the  beginning, 
merely,  does  not  suffice.  "  Whoso  shall  persevere  unto  the  end, 
he  shall  be  saved." 


MAY  4.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  211 

MAY  4.— ST.  MONICA. 

ONICA,  the  mother  of  St.  Augustine,  was  born  in  332. 
After  a  girlhood  of  singular  innocence  and  piety,  she  was 
given  in  marriage  to  Patritius,  a  pagan.  She  at  once 
devoted  herself  to  his  conversion,  praying  for  him  always,  and 
winning  his  reverence  and  love  by  the  holiness  of  her  life  and  her 
affectionate  forbearance.  She  was  rewarded  by  seeing  him  bap- 
tized a  year  before  his  death.  When  her  son  Augustine  went 
astray  in  faith  and  manners,  her  prayers  and  tears  were  incessant. 
She  was  once  very  urgent  with  a  learned  bishop  that  he  would 

talk  to  her  son  in  order  to  bring  him  to  a  better  mind,  but  he  de- 
clined, despairing  of  success  with  one  at  once  so  able  and  so  head- 
strong. However,  on  witnessing  her  prayers  and  tears,  he  bade  her 
be  of  good  courage;  for  it  might  not  be  that  the  child  of  those 
tears  should  perish.  By  going  to  Italy,  Augustine  could  for  a 
time  free  himself  from  his  mother's  importunities ;  but  he  could 
not  escape  from  her  prayers,  which  encompassed  him  like  the  pro- 
vidence of  God.  She  followed  him  to  Italy,  and  there  by  his 
marvellous  conversion  her  sorrow  was  turned  into  joy.  At  Ostia, 
on  their  homeward  journey,  as  Augustine  and  his  mother  sat  at  a 
window  conversing  of  the  life  of  the  blessed,  she  turned  to  him 
and  said,  "  Son,  there  is  nothing  now  I  care  for  in  this  life.  What 
I  shall  now  do  or  why  I  am  here,  I  know  not.    The  one  reason  I 



[May  5. 

had  for  wishing  to  linger  in  this  life  a  little  longer  was  that  I 
might  see  you  a  Catholic  Christian  before  I  died.  This  has  God 
granted  me  superabundantly  in  seeing  you  reject  earthly  happi- 
ness to  become  His  servant.  What  do  I  here?"  A  few  days  after- 
wards, she  had  an  attack  of  fever,  and  died  in  the  year  387. 

Reflection. — It  is  impossible  to  set  any  bounds  to  what  per- 
severing prayer  may  do.  It  gives  man  a  share  in  the  Divine  Om- 
nipotence. St.  Augustine's  soul  lay  bound  in  the  chains  of  heresy 
and  impurity,  both  of  which  had  by  long  habit  grown  inveterate. 
They  were  broken  by  his  mother's  prayers. 

MAY  5.— ST.  PIUS  V. 

DOMINICAN  friar  from  his  fifteenth  year,  Michael  Ghis- 
lieri,  as  a  simple  religious,  as  inquisitor,  as  bishop,  and  as 
cardinal,  was  famous  for  his  intrepid  defence  of  the 
Church's  faith  and  discipline,  and  for  the  spotless  purity  of  his 
own  life.    His  first  care  as  Pope  was  to  reform  the  Roman  court 

and  capital  by  the  strict  example  of  his  household  and  the  severe 
punishment  of  all  offenders.  He  next  endeavored  to  obtain  from 
the  Catholic  powers  the  recognition  of  the  Tridentine  decrees,  two 
of  which  he  urgently  enforced — the  residence  of  bishops,  and  the 
establishment  of  diocesan  seminaries.    He  revised  the  Missal  and 

May  6.] 



Breviary,  and  reformed  the  ecclesiastical  music.  Nor  was  he  less 
active  in  protecting  the  Church  without.  We  see  him  at  the  same 
time  supporting  the  Catholic  King  of  France  against  the  Hugue- 
not rebels,  encouraging  Mary  Queen  of  Scots,  in  the  bitterness  of 
her  captivity,  and  excommunicating  her  rival  the  usurper  Eliza- 
beth, when  the  best  blood  of  England  had  flowed  upon  the  scaf- 
fold, and  the  measure  of  her  crimes  was  full.  But  it  was  at 
Lepanto  that  the  Saint's  power  was  most  manifest ;  there,  in 
October,  15  71,  by  the  holy  league  which  he  had  formed,  but  still 
more  by  his  prayers  to  the  great  Mother  of  God,  the  aged  Pontiff 
crushed  the  Ottoman  forces,  and  saved  Christendom  from  the 
Turk.  Six  months  later,  St.  Pius  died,  having  reigned  but  six 
years.  St.  Pius  was  accustomed  to  kiss  the  feet  of  his  crucifix  on 
leaving  or  entering  his  room.  One  day  the  feet  moved  away  from 
his  lips.  Sorrow  filled  his  heart,  and  he  made  acts  of  contrition, 
fearing  that  he  must  have  committed  some  secret  offence,  but  still 
he  could  not  kiss  the  feet.  It  was  afterwards  found  that  they  had 
been  poisoned  by  an  enemy. 

Reflection. — "  Thy  Cross,  O  Lord,  is  the  source  of  all  bless- 
ings, the  cause  of  all  graces :  by  it  the  faithful  find  strength  in 
weakness,  glory  in  shame,  life  in  death," — St.  Leo. 


fN  the  year  95,  St.  John,  who  was  the  only  surviving  apostle, 
and  governed  all  the  Churches  of  Asia,  was  apprehended  at 
Ephesus,  and  sent  prisoner  to  Rome.  The  Emperor  Domitian 
did  not  relent  at  the  sight  of  the  venerable  old  man,  but  con- 
demned him  to  be  cast  into  a  caldron  of  boiling  oil.  The  martyr 
doubtless  heard,  with  great  joy,  this  barbarous  sentence  ;  the  most 
cruel  torments  seemed  to  him  light  and  most  agreeable,  because 
they  would,  he  hoped,  unite  him  forever  to  his  divine  Master  and 
Saviour.  But  God  accepted  his  will,  and  crowned  his  desire ;  he 
conferred  on  him  the  honor  and  merit  of  martyrdom,  but  sus- 
pended the  operation  of  the  fire,  as  he  had  formerly  preserved  the 
three  children  from  hurt  in  the  Babylonian  furnace.  The  seething 
oil  was  changed  in  his  regard  into  an  invigorating  bath,  and  the 
Saint  came  out  more  refreshed  than  when  he  had  entered  the  cal- 
dron. Domitian  saw  this  miracle  without  drawing  from  it  the  least 
advantage,  but  remained  hardene4  in  his  iniquity.  However,  he 
contented  himself  after  this  with  banishing  the  holy  apostle  into 



[May  7. 

the  little  island  of  Patmos.  St.  John  returned  to  Ephesus,  in  the 
reign  of  Nerva,  who,  by  mildness,  during  his  short  reign  of  one 
year  and  four  months,  labored  to  restore  the  faded  lustre  of  the 
Roman  Empire.  This  glorious  triumph  of  St.  John  happened 
without  the  gate  of  Rome,  called  Latina.  A  church  which  since 
has  always  borne  this  title  was  consecrated  in  the  same  place  in 
memory  of  this  miracle,  under  the  first  Christian  Emperors. 

Reflection. — St.  John  suffered  above  the  other  Saints  a  martyr- 
dom of  love,  being  a  martyr,  and  more  than  a  martyr,  at  the  foot 
of  the  cross  of  his  divine  Master.  All  his  sufferings  were  by  love 

and  compassion  imprinted  in  his  soul,  and  thus  shared  by  him. 
O  singular  happiness,  to  have  stood  under  the  cross  of  Christ !  O 
extraordinary  privilege,  to  have  suffered  martyrdom  in  the  person 
of  Jesus,  and  been  eye-witness  of  all  He  did  or  endured  !  If  nature 
revolt  within  us  against  suffering,  let  us  call  to  mind  those  words 
of  the  Divine  Master  :  "  Thou  knowest  not  now  wherefore ;  but 
thou  shalt  know  hereafter." 


TANISLAS  was  born  in  answer  to  prayer  when  his  parents 
were  advanced  in  age.    Out  of  gratitude  they  educated  him 
for  the  Church,  and  from  a  holy  priest  he  became  in  time 
Bishop  of  Cracow.    Boleslas  II.  was  then  King  of  Poland — a 

May  7.] 



prince  of  good  disposition,  but  spoilt  by  a  long  course  of  victory 
and  success.  After  many  acts  of  lust  and  cruelty,  he  outraged  the 
whole  kingdom  by  carrying  off  the  wife  of  one  of  his  nobles. 
Against  this  public  scandal,  the  chaste  and  gentle  bishop  alone 
raised  his  voice.  Having  commended  the  matter  to  God,  he  went 
down  to  the  palace  and  openly  rebuked  the  king  for  his  crime 
against  God  and  his  subjects,  and  threatened  to  excommunicate 
him  if  he  persisted  in  his  sin.  To  slander  the  Saint's  character, 
Boleslas  suborned  the  nephews  of  one  Paul,  lately  dead,  to  swear 
that  their  uncle  had  never  been  paid  for  land  bought  by  the  bishop 

for  the  Church.  The  Saint  stood  fearlessly  before  the  king's 
tribunal,  though  all  his  witnesses  forsook  him,  and  guaranteed  to 
bring  the  dead  man  to  witness  for  him  within  three  days.  On  the 
third  day,  after  many  prayers  and  tears,  he  raised  Paul  to  life,  and 
led  him  in  his  grave-clothes  before  the  king.  Boleslas  made  a 
show  for  a  while  of  a  better  life.  Soon,  however,  he  relapsed  into 
the  most  scandalous  excesses,  and  the  bishop,  finding  all  remon- 
strance useless,  pronounced  the  sentence  of  excommunication.  In 
defiance  of  the  censure,  on  May  8th,  1079,  the  king  went  down  to 
a  chapel  where  the  bishop  himself  was  saying  Mass,  and  sent  in 
three  companies  of  soldiers  to  dispatch  him  at  the  altar.  Each  in 
turn  came  out  saying  they  had  been  scared  by  a  light  from  heaven. 
Then  the  king  rushed  in  and  slew  the  Saint  at  the  altar  with  his 
own  hand. 



[May  8. 

Reflection. — The  safest  correction  of  vice  is  a  blameless  life. 
Yet  there  are  times  when  silence  would  make  us  answerable  for 
the  sins  of  others.  At  such  times,  let  us,  in  the  name  of  God, 
rebuke  the  offender  without  fear. 


3TLT  is  manifested,  from  the  holy  Scriptures,  that  God  is  pleased 
^  to  make  frequent  use  of  the  ministry  of  the  heavenly  spirits  in 
the  dispensations  of  His  providence  in  this  world,  and  especi- 
ally towards  man.  Hence  the  name  of  Angel  (which  is  not  pro- 
perly a  denomination  of  nature,  but  office)  has  been  appropriated 
to  them.  The  angels  are  all  pure  spirits  ;  they  are,  by  a  property 
of  their  nature,  immortal,  as  every  spirit  is.  They  have  the  power 
of  moving  or  conveying  themselves  from  place  to  place,  and  such 
is  their  activity  that  it  is  not  easy  for  us  to  conceive  it.  Among 
the  holy  archangels,  there  are  particularly  distinguished  in  holy 

writ  SS.  Michael,  Gabriel,  and  Raphael.  St.  Michael,  whom  the 
Church  honors  this  day,  was  the  prince  of  the  faithful  angels  who 
opposed  Lucifer  and  his  associates  in  their  revolt  against  God. 
As  the  devil  is  the  sworn  enemy  of  God's  holy  Church,  St.  Michael 
is  its  special  protector  against  his  assaults  and  stratagems.  This 

May  9.] 



holy  archangel  has  ever  been  honored  in  the  Christian  Church,  as 
her  guardian  under  God,  and  as  the  protector  of  the  faithful ;  for 
God  is  pleased  to  employ  the  zeal  and  charity  of  the  good  angels  and 
their  leader  against  the  malice  of  the  devil.  To  thank  His  ador- 
able goodness  for  this  benefit  of  His  merciful  providence,  is  this 
festival  instituted  by  the  Church  in  honor  of  the  good  angels :  in 
which  devotion  she  has  been  encouraged  by  several  apparitions  of 
this  glorious  archangel.  Among  others,  it  is  recorded  that  St. 
Michael,  in  a  vision,  admonished  the  Bishop  of  Siponto  to  build  a 
church  in  his  honor  on  Mount  Gargano,  near  Manfredonia,  in  the 
kingdom  of  Naples.  When  the  Emperor  Otho  III.  had,  contrary 
to  his  word,  put  to  death,  for  rebellion,  Crescentius,  a  Roman 
senator,  being  touched  with  remorse,  he  cast  himself  at  the  feet  of 
St.  Romuald,  who,  in  satisfaction  for  his  crime,  enjoined  him  to 
walk  barefoot,  on  a  penitential  pilgrimage,  to  St.  Michael's  on 
Mount  Gargano:  which  penance  he  performed  in  1002.  It  is 
mentioned  in  particular  of  this  special  guardian  and  protector  of 
the  Church  that,  in  the  persecution  of  Antichrist,  he  will  power- 
fully stand  up  in  her  defence  :  "At  that  time  shall  Michael  rise 
up,  the  great  prince,  who  standeth  for  the  children  of  thy  people." 

Reflection. — St.  Michael  is  not  only  the  protector  of  the 
Church,  but  of  every  faithful  soul.  He  defeated  the  devil  by 
humility;  we  are  enlisted  in  the  same  warfare.  His  arms  were 
humility  and  ardent  love  of  God  ;  the  same  must  be  our  weapons. 
We  ought  to  regard  this  archangel  as  our  leader  under  God :  and, 
courageously  resisting  the  devil  in  all  his  assaults,  to  cry  out, 
Who  can  be  compared  to  God  ? 


REGORY  was  born  of  saintly  parents,  and  was  the  chosen 
friend  of  St.  Basil.  They  studied  together  at  Athens,  turned 
at  the  same  time  from  the  fairest  worldly  prospects,  and  for 
some  years  lived  together  in  seclusion,  self-discipline,  and  toil. 
Gregory  was  raised,  almost  by  force,  to  the  priesthood  ;  and  was 
in  time  made  Bishop  of  Nazianzum  by  St.  Basil,  who  had  become 
Archbishop  of  Caesarea.  When  he  was  fifty  years  old,  he  was  cho- 
sen, for  his  rare  gifts  and  his  conciliatory  disposition,  to  be  Pa- 
triarch of  Constantinople,  then  distracted  and  laid  waste  by  Arian 
and  other  heretics.  In  that  city  he  labored  with  wonderful  suc- 
cess.   The  Arians  were  so  irritated  at  the  decay  of  their  heresy 



[May  9. 

that  they  pursued  the  Saint  with  outrage,  calumny,  and  violence, 
and  at  length  resolved  to  take  away  his  life.  For  this  purpose 
they  chose  a  resolute  young  man,  who  readily  undertook  the  sa- 
crilegious commission.  But  God  did  not  allow  him  to  carry  it  out. 
He  was  touched  with  remorse,  and  cast  himself  at  the  Saint's  feet, 
avowing  his  sinful  intent.  St.  Gregory  at  once  forgave  him,  treat- 
ed him  with  all  kindness,  and  received  him  amongst  his  friends,  to 
the  wonder  and  edification  of  the  whole  city,  and  to  the  confusion 
of  the  heretics,  whose  crime  had  served  only  as  a  foil  to  the  vir- 
tue of  the  Saint.    St.  Jerome  boasts  that  he  had  sat  at  his  feet, 

and  calls  him  his  master  and  his  catechist  in  Holy  Scripture.  But 
his  lowliness,  his  austerities,  the  insignificance  of  his  person,  and 
above  all  his  very  success,  drew  down  on  him  the  hatred  of  the 
enemies  of  the  Faith.  He  was  persecuted  by  the  magistrates, 
stoned  by  the  rabble,  and  thwarted  and  deserted  even  by  his  bro- 
ther bishops.  During  the  second  General  Council,  he  resigned 
his  see,  hoping  thus  to  restore  peace  to  the  tormented  city,  and  re- 
tired to  his  native  town,  where  he  died  a.d.  390.  He  was  a  grace- 
ful poet,  a  preacher  at  once  eloquent  and  solid ;  and  as  a  cham- 
pion of  the  Faith  so  well  equipped,  so  strenuous,  and  so  exact, 
that  he  is  called  St.  Gregory  the  Theologian. 

Reflection. — "We  must  overcome  our  enemies,"  said  St.  Gre- 
gory, "  by  gentleness  ;  win  them  over  by  forbearance.    Let  them 

May  io.] 



be  punished  by  their  own  conscience,  not  by  our  wrath.  Let  us 
not  at  once  wither  the  fig-tree,  from  which  a  more  skilful  gar- 
dener may  yet  entice  fruit." 


tNTONINUS,  or  Little  Antony,  as  he  was  called  from  his 
small  stature,  was  born  at  Florence  in  1389.    After  a  child- 
hood of  singular  holiness,  he  begged  to  be  admitted  into 
the  Dominican  house  at  Fiesole ;  but  the  Superior,  to  test  his  sin- 

cerity and  perseverance,  told  him  he  must  first  learn  by  heart  the 
book  of  the  Decretals,  containing  several  hundred  pages.  This 
apparently  impossible  task  was  accomplished  within  twelve 
months ;  and  Antoninus  received  the  coveted  habit  in  his  sixteenth 
year.  While  still  very  young,  he  filled  several  important  posts  of 
his  Order,  and  was  consulted  on  questions  of  difficulty  by  the 
most  learned  men  of  his  day;  being  known,  for  his  wonderful 
prudence,  as  "  the  Counsellor."  He  wrote  several  works  on  theol- 
ogy and  history,  and  sat  as  Papal  Theologian  at  the  Council  cf 
Florence.  In  1446,  he  was  compelled  to  accept  the  archbishopric 
of  that  city ;  and  in  this  dignity  earned  for  himself  the  title  of 
"the  Father  of  the  Poor,"  for  all  he  had  was  at  their  disposal.  St. 
Antoninus  never  refused  an  alms  which  was  asked  in  the  name 



[May  II. 

of  God.  When  he  had  no  money,  he  gave  his  clothes,  shoes,  or 
furniture.  One  day,  being  sent  by  the  Florentines  to  the  Pope,  as 
he  approached  Rome  a  beggar  came  up  to  him  almost  naked,  and 
asked  him  for  an  alms  for  Christ's  sake.  Outdoing  St.  Martin, 
Antoninus  gave  him  his  whole  cloak.  When  he  entered  the  city, 
another  was  given  him ;  by  whom  he  knew  not.  His  household 
consisted  of  only  six  persons  ;  his  palace  contained  no  plate  or 
costly  furniture,  and  was  often  nearly  destitute  of  the  necessaries 
of  life.  His  one  mule  was  frequently  sold  for  the  relief  of  the 
poor,  when  it  would  be  bought  back  for  him  by  some  wealthy 
citizen.  He  died  embracing  the  crucifix,  May  2d,  1459,  often  re- 
peating the  words,  "  To  serve  God  is  to  reign." 

Reflection. — "Alms-deeds,"  says  St.  Augustine,  "comprise 
every  kind  of  service  rendered  to  our  neighbor  who  needs  such 
assistance.  He  who  supports  a  lame  man  bestows  an  alms  on 
him  with  his  feet ;  he  who  guides  a  blind  man  does  him  a  charity 
with  his  eyes ;  he  who  carries  an  invalid  or  an  old  man  upon  his 
shoulders  imparts  to  him  an  alms  of  his  strength.  Hence  none 
are  so  poor  but  they  may  bestow  an  alms  on  the  wealthiest  man  in 
the  world." 


T.  MAMMERTUS,  Archbishop  of«  Vienne  in  Dauphine,  was 
a  prelate  renowned  for  his  sanctity,  learning,  and  miracles. 
He  instituted  in  his  diocese  the  fasts  and  supplications  called 
the  Rogations,  on  the  following  occasions.  Almighty  God,  to 
punish  the  sins  of  the  people,  visited  them  with  wars  and  other 
public  calamities,  and  awaked  them  from  their  spiritual  lethargy 
by  the  terrors  of  earthquakes,  fires,  and  ravenous  wild  beasts, 
which  last  were  sometimes  seen  in  the  very  market  place  of  cities. 
These  evils  the  impious  ascribed  to  blind  chance ;  but  religious 
and  prudent  persons  considered  them  as  tokens  of  the  divine  an- 
ger, which  threatened  their  entire  destruction.  Amidst  these 
scourges,  St.  Mammertus  received  a  token  of  the  divine  mercy.  A 
terrible  fire  happened  in  the  city  of  Vienne,  which  baffled  the 
efforts  of  men ;  but  by  the  prayers  of  the  good  bishop,  the  fire  on 
a  sudden  went  out.  This  miracle  strongly  affected  the  minds 
of  the  people.  The  holy  prelate  took  this  opportunity  to  make 
them  sensible  of  the  necessity  and  efficacy  of  devout  prayer,  and 
formed  a  pious  design  of  instituting  an  annual  fast  and  supplica- 

May  12.] 



tion  of  three  days,  in  which  all  the  faithful  should  join,  with  sin- 
cere compunction  of  heart,  to  appease  the  divine  indignation  by 
fasting,  prayer,  tears,  and  the  confession  of  sins.  The  Church  of 
Auvergne,  of  which  St.  Sidonius  was  bishop,  adopted  this  pious 
institution  before  the  year  475,  and  it  became  in  a  very  short  time 
an  universal  practice.    St.  Mammertus  died  about  the  year  477. 

Reflection. — "  Know  ye  that  the  Lord  will  hear  your  prayers, 
if  you  continue  with  perseverance  in  fastings  and  prayers  in  the 
sight  of  the  Lord." — Judith  iv.  11. 


T.  EPIPHANIUS  was  born  about  the  year  310,  in  Palestine. 
In  his  youth  he  began  the  study  of  the  Holy  Scriptures,  em- 
braced a  monastic  life,  and  went  into  Egypt  to  perfect  him- 
self in  the  exercises  of  that  state,  in  the  deserts  of  that  country. 
He  returned  to  Palestine  about  the  year  333,  and  built  a  monas- 
tery near  the  place  of  his  birth.  His  labors  in  the  exercise  of  vir- 
tue seemed  to  some  to  surpass  his  strength  ;  but  his  apology  always 
was :  "  God  gives  not  the  kingdom  of  heaven  but  on  condition 
that  we  labor ;  and  all  we  can  do  bears  no  proportion  to  such  a 
crown."  To  his  corporal  austerities  he  added  an  indefatigable  ap- 



[May  12. 

plication  to  prayer  and  study.  Most  books  then  in  vogue  passed 
through  his  hands  ;  and  he  improved  himself  very  much  in  learn- 
ing by  his  travels  into  many  parts. 

Although  the  skilful  director  of  many  others,  St.  Epiphanius 
took  the  great  St.  Hilarion  as  his  master  in  a  spiritual  life,  and 
enjoyed  the  happiness  of  his  direction  and  intimate  acquaintance 
from  the  year  333  to  356.  The  reputation  of  his  virtue  made  St. 
Epiphanius  known  to  distant  countries  ;  and,  about  the  year  367, 
he  was  chosen  Bishop  of  Salamis,  in  Cyprus.  But  he  still  wore 
the  monastic  habit,  and  continued  to  govern  his  monastery  in 

Palestine,  which  he  visited  from  time  to  time.  He  sometimes 
relaxed  his  austerities  in  favor  of  hospitality,  preferring  charity 
to  abstinence.  No  one  surpassed  him  in  tenderness  and  charity 
to  the  poor.  The  veneration  which  all  men  had  for  his  sanctity, 
exempted  him  from  the  persecution  of  the  Arian  emperor  Va- 
lens.  In  376,  he  undertook  a  journey  to  Antioch  in  the  hope 
of  converting  Vitalis,  the  Apollinarist  bishop  ;  and  in  382,  he 
accompanied  St.  Paulinus  from  that  city  to  Rome,  where  they 
lodged  at  the  house  of  St.  Paula;  our  Saint  in  return  enter- 
tained her  afterward  ten  days  in  Cyprus  in  385.  The  very  name 
of  an  error  in  faith,  or  the  shadow  of  danger  of  evil,  affrighted 
him,  and  the  Saint  fell  into  some  mistakes  on  certain  occasions, 
which  proceeded  from  zeal  and  simplicity.    He  was  on  his  way 

May  13.] 



back  to  Salamis,  after  a  short  absence,  when  he  died  in  403,  having 
been  bishop  thirty-six  years. 

Reflection. — "  In  this  is  charity  :  not  as  though  we  had  loved 
God,  but  because  He  hath  first  loved  us." 


OHN  was  born  of  a  noble  family  at  Nicopolis,  in  Armenia, 
in  the  year  454 ;  but  he  derived  from  the  virtue  of  his 
parents  a  much  more  illustrious  nobility  than  that  of  their 
pedigree.    After  their  death,  he  built  at  Nicopolis  a  church  in 

honor  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  as  also  a  monastery,  in  which,  with 
ten  fervent  companions,  he  shut  himself  up  when  only  eighteen 
years  of  age,  with  a  view  of  making  the  salvation  and  most  per- 
fect sanctification  of  his  soul  his  only  and  earnest  pursuit.  Not 
only  to  shun  the  danger  of  sin  by  the  tongue,  but  also  out  of  sin- 
cere humility  and  contempt  of  himself,  and  the  love  of  interior 
recollection  and  prayer,  he  very  seldom  spoke  ;  and  when  obliged 
to,  it  was  always  in  very  few  words,  and  with  great  discretion. 
To  his  extreme  affliction,  when  he  was  only  twenty-eight  years 
old,  the  Archbishop  of  Sebaste  obliged  him  to  quit  his  retreat,  and 
ordained  him  Bishop  of  Colonian  in  Armenia  in  482.  In  this  dig- 
nity John  preserved  always  the  same  spirit,  and,  as  much  as  was 
compatible  with  the  duties  of  his  charge,  continued  his  monas- 



[May  14. 

tic  austerities  and  exercises.  Whilst  he  was  watching  one  night 
in  prayer,  he  saw  before  him  a  bright  cross  formed  in  the  air, 
and  heard  a  voice  which  said  to  him,  "  If  thou  desirest  to  be 
saved,  follow  this  light."  It  seemed  to  move  before  him,  and  at 
length  point  out  to  the  monastery  of  St.  Sabas.  Being  satisfied  what 
the  sacrifice  was  which  God  required  at  his  hands,  he  found  means 
to  abdicate  the  episcopal  charge,  and  retired  to  the  neighboring 
monastery  of  St.  Sabas,  which  at  that  time  contained  one  hundred 
and  fifty  fervent  monks.  St.  John  was  then  thirty-eight  years  old. 
After  living  there  unknown  for  some  years,  fetching  water,  car- 
rying stones,  and  doing  other  menial  work,  St.  Sabas,  judging 
him  worthy  to  be  promoted  to  the  priesthood,  presented  him  to 
the  Patriarch  Elias.  St.  John  took  the  patriarch  aside,  and.  hav- 
ing obtained  from  him  a  promise  of  secrecy,  said,  "  Father,  I  have 
been  ordained  bishop ;  but  on  account  of  the  multitude  of  my 
sins  have  fled,  and  am  come  into  this  desert  to  wait  the  visit  of 
the  Lord."  The  patriarch  was  startled,  but  God  revealed  to 
St.  Sabas  the  state  of  the  affair,  whereupon,  calling  for  John,  he 
complained  to  him  of  his  unkindness  in  concealing  the  matter 
from  him.  Finding  himself  discovered,  John  wished  to  quit  the 
monastery,  nor  could  St.  Sabas  prevail  on  him  to  stay,  but  on  a 
promise  never  to  divulge  the  secret.  In  the  year  503,  St.  John 
withdrew  into  a  neighboring  wilderness,  but  in  510  went  back  to 
the  monastery,  and  confined  himself  for  forty  years  to  his  cell. 
St.  John,  by  his  example  and  counsels,  conducted  many  fervent 
souls  to  God,  and  continued  to  emulate,  as  much  as  this  mortal 
state  will  allow,  the  glorious  employment  of  the  heavenly  spirits 
in  an  uninterrupted  exercise  of  love  and  praise,  till  he  passed  to 
their  blessed  company,  soon  after  the  year  558;  having  lived 
seventy-six  years  in  the  desert,  which  had  only  been  interrupted 
by  the  nine  years  of  his  episcopal  dignity. 

Reflection. — A  love  of  Christian  silence  is  a  proof  that  a  soul 
makes  it  her  chiefest  delight  to  be  occupied  on  God,  and  finds  no 
comfort  like  that  of  conversing  with  Him.  This  is  the  paradise 
of  all  devout  souls. 


tN  the  beginning  of  the  fourth  century,  great  levies  of  troops 
were  made  throughout  Egypt  for  the  service  of  the  Roman 
emperor.     Among  the  recruits  was    Pachomius,  a  young 
heathen,  then  in  his  twenty-first  year.   On  his  way  down  the  Nile, 

May  14.] 



he  passed  a  village,  whose  inhabitants  gave  him  food  and  money. 
Marvelling  at  this  kindness,  Pachomius  was  told  they  were  Chris- 
tians, and  hoped  for  a  reward  in  the  life  to  come.  He  then  prayed 
God  to  show  him  the  truth,  and  promised  to  devote  his  life  to 
His  service.  On  being  discharged,  he  returned  to  a  Christian 
village  in  Egypt,  where  he  was  instructed  and  baptized.  Instead 
of  going  home,  he  sought  Palemon,  an  aged  solitary,  to  learn  from 
him  a  perfect  life,  and  with  great  joy  embraced  the  most  severe 
austerities.  Their  food  was  bread  and  water,  once  a  dav  in  sum- 
mer, and  once  in  two  days  in  winter ;  sometimes  they  added  herbs.. 

but  mixed  ashes  with  them.  They  only  slept  one  hour  each  nighty 
and  this  short  repose  Pachomius  took  sitting  upright  without 
support.  Three  times  God  revealed  to  him  that  he  was  to  found 
a  religious  order  at  Tabenna ;  and  an  angel  gave  him  a  rule  of 
life.  Trusting  in  God,  he  built  a  monastery,  although  he  had  no 
disciples ;  but  vast  multitudes  soon  flocked  to  him,  and  he  trained 
them  in  perfect  detachment  from  creatures  and  from  self.  One 
day  a  monk,  by  dint  of  great  exertions,  contrived  to  make  two 
mats  instead  of  the  one  which  was  the  usual  daily  task,  and  set 
them  both  out  in  front  of  his  cell,  that  Pachomius  might  see  how 
diligent  he  had  been.  But  the  Saint,  perceiving  the  vainglory 
which  had  prompted  the  act,  said,  "  This  brother  has  taken  a  great 
deal  of  pains  from  morning  till  night  to  give  his  work  to  the  devil." 
Then,  to  cure  him  of  his  delusion,  Pachomius  imposed  on  him  as 



[May  15. 

a  penance  to  keep  his  cell  for  five  months  and  to  taste  no  food  but 
ibread  and  water.  His  visions  and  miracles  were  innumerable,  and 
lie  read  all  hearts.    His  holy  death  occurred  in  348. 

Reflection. — "  To  live  in  great  simplicity,"  said  St.  Pacho- 
mius,  "and  in  a  wise  ignorance,  is  exceeding  wise." 


N  the  Decian  persecution,  the  blood  of  the  Christians  flowed  at 
Lampsacus,  a  city  of  Asia  Minor.    St.  Peter  was  the  first  who 
was  led  before  the  proconsul  and  condemned  to  die  for  the 
name  of  Christ.    Young  though  he  was,  he  went  joyfully  to  his 

torments.  He  was  bound  to  a  wheel  by  iron  chains,  and  his  bones 
were  broken,  but  he  raised  his  eyes  to  heaven  with  a  smiling 
countenance  and  said,  "  I  give  Thee  thanks,  O  Lord  Jesus  Christ, 
because  Thou  hast  given  me  patience,  and  made  me  victorious 
over  the  tyrant."  The  proconsul  saw  how  little  suffering  availed, 
and  ordered  the  martyr  to  be  beheaded.  But  a  little  later,  in  the 
same  city,  the  virgin  Dionysia  showed  a  like  eagerness  to  suffer. 
St.  Dionysia  gained  the  crown  which  an  apostate  lost,  and  his  his- 
tory may  teach  us  that  those  who  lose  Christ  rather  than  suffer 
with  Him,  lose  all.  With  the  strength  that  was  left  he  cried  out, 
I  never  was  a  Christian.    I  sacrifice  to  the  gods."    Therefore  he 

MAY  l6.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  22/ 

was  taken  down,  and  he  offered  sacrifice.  But  he  was  possessed 
by  the  devil,  whom  he  had  chosen  for  his  master.  He  fell  to  the 
earth  in  a  fit,  bit  out  his  tongue,  and  so  expired.  He  escaped  a 
little  pain,  and  instead  he  went  to  the  endless  torments  of  hell, 
and  forfeited  eternal  rest.  "O  wretched  man!"  Dionysia  cried,. 
"  why  have  you  feared  a  little  suffering  and  chosen  eternal  pain  in- 
stead ?"  She  was  seized  and  led  away  to  horrible  outrage,  but  her 
angel  guardian  appeared  by  her  side  and  protected  the  spouse  of 
Christ.  Escaping  from  prison,  she  still  burned  with  the  desire  to 
be  dissolved  and  to  be  with  Christ.  She  threw  herself  upon  the 
bodies  of  the  martyrs,  saying,  "  I  would  fain  die  with  you  on  earth, 
that  I  may  live  with  you  in  heaven."  And  Christ,  who  is  the 
crown  of  virgins  and  the  strength  of  martyrs,  gave  her  the  desire 
of  her  heart. 

Reflection. — The  martyrs  were  even  like  us,  with  natures 
which  shrank  from  suffering.  They  were  patient  under  it  because 
they  looked  to  the  eternal  recompense,  and  endured  as  seeing  Him 
who  is  invisible. 


T.  JOHN  was  born,  in  answer  to  prayer,  a.d.  1330,  of  poor 
parents,  at  Nepomuc  in  Bohemia.  In  gratitude  they  conse- 
crated him  to  God ;  and  his  holy  life  as  a  priest  led  to  his 
appointment  as  chaplain  to  the  court  of  the  Emperor  Wenceslas. 
where  he  converted  numbers  by  his  preaching  and  example. 
Amongst  those  who  sought  his  advice  was  the  empress,  who  suf- 
fered much  from  her  husband's  unfounded  jealousy.  St.  John, 
taught  her  to  bear  her  cross  with  joy;  but  her  piety  only  incensed 
the  emperor,  and  he  tried  to  extort  her  confessions  from  the  Saint. 
He  threw  St.  John  into  a  dungeon,  but  gained  nothing ;  then,  in- 
viting him  to  his  palace,  he  promised  him  riches  if  he  would 
yield,  and  threatened  death  if  he  refused.  The  Saint  was  silent. 
He  was  racked  and  burnt  with  torches ;  but  no  words,  save  Jesus 
and  Mary,  fell  from  his  lips.  At  last  set  free,  he  spent  his  time  in 
preaching,  and  preparing  for  the  death  he  knew  to  be  at  hand. 
On  Ascension-eve,  May  16th,  Wenceslas,  after  a  final  and  fruitless 
attempt  to  move  his  constancy,  ordered  him  to  be  cast  into  the 
river,  and  that  night  the  martyr's  hands  and  feet  were  bound,  and 
he  was  thrown  from  the  bridge  of  Prague.  As  he  died,  a  heavenly 
light  shining  on  the  water  discovered  the  body,  which  was  buried 



[May  17. 

with  the  honors  due  to  a  Saint.  A  few  years  later,  Wenceslas  was 
deposed  by  his  own  subjects,  and  died  an  impenitent  and  miser- 
able death.  In  1618,  the  Calvinist  and  Hussite  soldiers  of  the 
Protestant  Elector  Frederick  tried  repeatedly  to  demolish  the 
shrine  of  St.  John  at  Prague.  Each  attempt  was  miraculously 
frustrated ;  and  once  the  persons  engaged  in  the  sacrilege,  among 
whom  was  an  Englishman,  were  killed  on  the  spot.  In  1620, 
the  imperial  troops  recovered  the  town  by  a  victory  which  was 
ascribed  to  the  Saint's  intercession,  as  he  was  seen  on  the  eve  of 
the  battle,  radiant  with  glory,  guarding  the  cathedral.  When  his 
shrine  was  opened,  three  hundred  and  thirty  years  after  his  de- 
cease, the  flesh  had  disappeared,  and  one  member  alone  remained 
incorrupt,  the  tongue ;  thus  still,  in  silence,  giving  glory  to  God. 

Reflection. — St.  John,  who  by  his  invincible  sacramental 
silence  won  his  crown,  teaches  us  to  prefer  torture  and  death  to 
offending  the  Creator  with  our  tongue.  How  many  times  each 
•day  do  we  forfeit  grace  and  strength  by  sins  of  speech ! 


j|^ROM  a  child  Paschal  seems  to  have  been  marked  out  for  the 
service  of  God ;  and  amidst  his  daily  labors  he  found  time 
to  instruct  and  evangelize  the  rude  herdsmen  who  kept 
their  flocks  on  the  hills  of  Aragon.    At  the  age  of  twenty-four  he 

May  17.] 



entered  the  Franciscan  Order,  in  which,  however,  he  remained, 
from  humility,  a  simple  lay-brother,  and  occupied  himself,  by  pre- 
ference, with  the  roughest  and  most  servile  tasks.  He  was  dis- 
tinguished by  an  ardent  love  and  devotion  to  the  Blessed  Sacra- 
ment. He  would  spend  hours  on  his  knees  before  the  tabernacle 
— often  he  was  raised  from  the  ground  in  the  fervor  of  his 
prayer — and  there,  from  the  very  and  eternal  Truth,  he  drew  such 
stores  of  wisdom  that,  unlettered  as  he  was,  he  was  counted  by  all 
a  master  in  theology  and  spiritual  science.  Shortly  after  his  pro- 
fession, he  was  called  to  Paris  on  business  connected  with  his 

Order.  The  journey  was  full  of  peril,  owing  to  the  hostility  of 
the  Huguenots,  who  were  numerous  at  the  time  in  the  south  of 
France ;  and  on  four  separate  occasions  Paschal  was  in  imminent 
danger  of  death  at  the  hands  of  the  heretics.  But  it  was  not  God's 
will  that  His  servant  should  obtain  the  crown  of  martyrdom 
which,  though  judging  himself  all  unworthy  of  it,  he  so  earnestly 
desired,  and  he  returned  in  safety  to  his  convent,  where  he  died 
in  the  odor  of  sanctity,  May  15th,  1592.  As  Paschal  was  watch- 
ing his  sheep  on  the  mountain-side,  he  heard  the  consecration  bell 
ring  out  from  a  church  in  the  valley  below,  where  the  villagers 
were  assembled  for  Mass.  The  Saint  fell  on  his  knees,  when  sud- 
denly there  stood  before  him  an  angel  of  God,  bearing  in  his 
hands  the  Sacred  Host,  and  offering  it  for  his  adoration.  Learn 



[May  i 8. 

from  this  how  pleasing  to  Jesus  Christ  are  those  who  honor  Him 
in  this  great  mystery  of  His  love;  and  how  to  them  especially  this 
promise  is  fulfilled:  "I  will  not  leave  you  orphans;  I  will  come 
unto  you."    John  xiv.  18. 

Reflection. — St.  Paschal  teaches  us,  never  to  suffer  a  day  to 
pass  without  visiting  Jesus  in  the  narrow  chamber  where  He, 
whom  the  heaven  itself  cannot  contain,  abides  day  and  night  for 
our  sake. 


fT.  VENANTIUS  was  born  at  Camerino,  in  Italy,  and  at  the 
age  of  fifteen  was  seized  as  a  Christian  and  carried  before 
a  judge.  As  it  was  found  impossible  to  shake  his  constancy 
either  by  threats  or  promises,  he  was  condemned  to  be  scourged, 
but  was  miraculously  saved  by  an  angel.  He  was  then  burnt  with 
torches  and  hung  over  a  low  fire  that  he  might  be  suffocated  by 
the  smoke.    The  judge's  secretary,  admiring  the  steadfastness  of 

the  Saint,  and  seeing  an  angel,  robed  in  white,  who  trampled  out 
the  fire,  and  again  set  free  the  youthful  martyr,  proclaimed  his 
faith  in  Christ,  was  baptized  with  his  whole  family,  and  shortly 
after  won  the  martyr's  crown  himself.  Venantius  was  then  car- 
ried before  the  governor,  who,  unable  to  make  him  renounce  his 

May  19.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  23  I 

faith,  cast  him  into  prison  with  an  apostate  who  vainly  strove  to 
tempt  him.  The  governor  then  ordered  his  teeth  and  jaws  to  be 
broken,  and  had  him  thrown  into  a  furnace,  from  which  the  angel 
once  more  delivered  him.  The  Saint  was  again  led  before  the 
judge  who,  at  sight  of  him,  fell  headlong  from  his  seat  and  ex- 
pired, crying,  "  The  God  of  Venantius  is  the  true  God ;  let  us 
destroy  our  idols."  This  circumstance  being  told  to  the  governor, 
he  ordered  Venantius  to  be  thrown  to  the  lions ;  but  these  brutes, 
forgetting  their  natural  ferocity,  crouched  at  the  feet  of  the  Saint. 
Then,  by  order  of  the  tyrant,  the  young  martyr  was  dragged 
through  a  heap  of  brambles  and  thorns,  but  again  God  manifested 
the  glory  of  his  servant ;  the  soldiers  suffering  from  thirst,  the 
Saint  knelt  on  a  rock  and  signed  it  with  a  cross,  when  immediately 
a  jet  of  clear,  cool  water  spurted  up  from  the  spot.  This  miracle 
converted  many  of  those  who  beheld  it,  whereupon  the  governor 
had  Venantius  and  his  converts  beheaded  together  in  the  year  250. 
The  bodies  of  these  martyrs  are  kept  in  the  church  at  Camerino, 
which  bears  the  Saint's  name. 

Reflection. — Love  of  suffering  marks  the  most  perfect  degree 
in  the  love  of  God.  Our  Lord  himself  was  consumed  with  the 
desire  to  suffer,  because  He  burnt  with  the  love  of  God.  We  must 
begin  with  patience  and  detachment.  At  last  we  shall  learn  to 
love  the  sufferings  which  conform  us  to  the  Passion  of  our  Re- 


S  a  child,  Peter  had  visions  of  our  Blessed  Lady,  and  of  the 
angels  and  saints.  They  encouraged  him  in  his  prayer, 
and  chided  him  when  he  fell  into  any  fault.  His  mother, 
though  only  a  poor  widow,  put  him  to  school,  feeling  sure  that  he 
would  one  day  be  a  saint.  At  the  age  of  twenty,  he  left  his  home 
in  Apulia  to  live  in  a  mountain  solitude.  Here  he  passed  three 
years,  assaulted  by  the  evil  spirits  and  beset  with  temptations  of 
the  flesh,  but  consoled  by  angels'  visits.  After  this,  his  seclusion 
was  invaded  by  disciples,  ivho  refused  to  be  sent  away ;  and  the 
rule  of  life  which  he  gave  them  formed  the  foundation  of  the 
Celestine  Order.  Angels  assisted  in  the  church  wThich  Peter  built ; 
unseen  bells  rang  peals  of  surpassing  sweetness,  and  heavenly 
music  filled  the  sanctuary,  when  he  offered  the  Holy  Sacrifice. 
Suddenly  he  found  himself  torn  from  his  loved  solitude  by  his 
election  to  the  Papal  throne.  Resistance  was  of  no  avail.  He 
took  the  name  of  Celestine,  to  remind  him  of  the  heaven  he  was 



[May  20. 

leaving  and  for  which  he  sighed,  and  was  consecrated  at  Aquila. 
After  a  reign  of  four  months,  Peter  summoned  the  cardinals  to 
his  presence,  and  solemnly  resigned  his  trust.  St.  Peter  built 
himself  a  boarded  cell  in  his  palace,  and  there  continued  his 
hermit's  life ;  and  when,  lest  his  simplicity  might  be  taken  advan- 
tage of  to  distract  the  peace  of  the  Church,  he  was  put  under 
guard,  he  said,  "  I  desired  nothing  but  a  cell,  and  a  cell  they  have 
given  me."  There  he  enjoyed  his  former  loving  intimacy  with  the 
saints  and  angels,  and  sang  the  Divine  praises  almost  continually. 
At  length,  on  Whit-Sunday,  he  told  his  guards  he  should  die 

within  the  week,  and  immediately  fell  ill.  He  received  the  last 
Sacraments ;  and  the  following  Saturday,  as  he  finished  the  con- 
cluding verse  of  Lauds,  "  Let  every  spirit  bless  the  Lord  !"  he 
closed  his  eyes  to  this  world  and  opened  them  to  the  vision  of  God. 

Reflection. — "  Whoso,"  says  the  Imitation  of  Christ,  "  with- 
draweth  himself  from  acquaintances  and  friends,  to  him  will  God 
draw  near  with  His  holy  angels." 


tN  1408,  St.  Vincent  Ferrer  once  suddenly  interrupted  his  ser- 
mon to  declare  that  there  was  among  his  hearers  a  young 
Franciscan  who  would  be  one  day  a  greater  preacher  than 
himself,  and  would  be  set  before  him  in  honor  by  the  Church. 

May  20.] 



This  unknown  friar  was  Bernardine.  Of  noble  birth,  he  had  spent 
his  youth  in  works  of  mercy,  and  had  then  entered  religion. 
Owing  to  a  defective  utterance,  his  success  as  a  preacher  at  first 
seemed  doubtful,  but,  by  the  prayers  of  our  Lady,  this  obstacle 
was  miraculously  removed,  and  Bernardine  began  an  apostolate 
which  lasted  thirty-eight  years.  By  his  burning  words  and  by 
the  power  of  the  Holy  Name  of  Jesus,  which  he  displayed  on  a 
tablet  at  the  end  of  his  sermons,  he  obtained  miraculous  conver- 
sions, and  reformed  the  greater  part  of  Italy.  But  this  success 
had  to  be  exalted  by  the  Cross.    The  Saint  was  denounced  as  a 

heretic  and  his  devotion  as  idolatrous.  After  many  trials  he  lived 
to  see  his  innocence  proved,  and  a  lasting  memorial  of  his  work 
established  in  the  Church.  The  Feast  of  the  Holy  Name  com- 
memorates at  once  his  sufferings  and  his  triumph.  He  died  on 
Ascension-eve,  1444,  while  his  brethren  were  chanting  the  anti- 
phon,  "  Father,  I  have  manifested  Thy  Name  to  men."  St.  Ber- 
nardine, when  a  youth,  undertook  the  charge  of  a  holy  old 
woman,  a  relation  of  his,  who  had  been  left  destitute.  She  was 
blind  and  bed-ridden,  and  during  her  long  illness  could  only  utter 
the  Holy  Name.  The  Saint  watched  over  her  till  she  died,  and 
thus  learned  the  devotion  of  his  life. 

Reflection. — Let  us  learn  from  the  life  of  St.  Bernardine  the 
power  of  the  Holy  Name  in  life  and  death. 



[May  21. 


\<5^T.  HOSPITIUS  shut  himself  up  in  the  ruins  of  an  old  tower 
VjcS)  near  Villafranca,  one  league  from  Nice,  in  Provence.  He 
girded  himself  with  a  heavy  iron  chain  and  lived  on  bread 
and  dates  only.  During  Lent  he  redoubled  his  austerities,  and,  in 
order  to  conform  his  life  more  closely  to  that  of  the  anchorites  of 
Egypt,  ate  nothing  but  roots.  For  his  great  virtues,  Heaven  hon- 
ored him  with  the  gifts  of  prophecy  and  of  miracles.  He  foretold 
the  ravages  which  the  Lombards  would  make  in  Gaul.  These 
barbarians,  having  come  to  the  tower  in  which  Hospitius  lived, 

and  seeing  the  chain  with  which  he  was  bound,  mistook  him  for 
some  criminal  who  was  there  imprisoned.  On  questioning  the 
Saint,  he  acknowledged  that  he  was  a  great  sinner  and  unworthy 
to  live.  Whereupon  one  of  the  soldiers  lifted  his  sword  to  strike 
him ;  but  God  did  not  desert  His  faithful  servant :  the  soldier's 
arm  stiffened  and  became  numb,  and  it  was  not  until  Hospitius 
made  the  sign  of  the  cross  over  it  that  the  man  recovered  the  use 
of  it.  The  soldier  embraced  Christianity,  renounced  the  world, 
and  passed  the  rest  of  his  days  in  serving  God.  When  our  Saint 
felt  that  his  last  hour  was  nearing,  he  took  off  his  chain  and  knelt 
in  prayer  for  a  long  time.    Then,  stretching  himself  on  a  little 

May  22.] 



bank  of  earth,  he  calmly  gave  up  his  soul  to  God  on  the  21st  of 
May,  681. 

Reflection. — If  we  do  not  love  penitence  for  its  own  sake,  let 
us  love  it  on  account  of  our  sins;  for  we  should  "  work  out  our 
salvation  in  fear  and  trembling." 


T.  YVO  HELORI,  descended  from  a  noble  and  virtuous 
vS)  family  near  Treguier  in  Brittany,  was  born  in  1253.  At 
fourteen  years  of  age,  he  went  to  Paris,  and  afterwards  to 
Orleans,  to  pursue  his  studies.  His  mother  was  wont  frequently 
to  say  to  him  that  he  ought  so  to  live  as  became  a  saint,  to  which 
his  answer  always  was,  that  he  hoped  to  be  one.  This  resolution 
took  deep  root  in  his  soul,  and  was  a  continual  spur  to  virtue,  and 
a  check  against  the  least  shadow  of  any  dangerous  course.  His 
time  was  chiefly  divided  between  study  and  prayer;  for  his  re- 
creation he  visited  the  hospitals,  where  he  attended  the  sick  with 

great  charity,  and  comforted  them  under  the  severe  trials  of  their 
suffering  condition.  He  made  a  private  vow  of  perpetual  chas- 
tity ;  but,  this  not  being  known,  many  honorable  matches  were 
proposed  to  him,  which  he  modestly  rejected  as  incompatible  with 



[May  22. 

his  studious  life.  He  long  deliberated  whether  to  embrace  a 
religious  or  a  clerical  state  ;  but  the  desire  of  serving  his  neigh- 
bor determined  him  at  length  in  favor  of  the  latter.  He  wished, 
out  of  humility,  to  remain  in  the  lesser  orders ;  but  his  bishop 
compelled  him  to  receive  the  priesthood,  a  step  which  cost  him 
many  tears,  though  he  had  qualified  himself  for  that  sacred 
dignity  by  the  most  perfect  purity  of  mind  and  body,  and  by  a 
long  and  fervent  preparation.  He  was  appointed  ecclesiastical 
judge  for  the  diocese  of  Rennes.  St.  Yvo  protected  the  orphans 
and  widows,  defended  the  poor,  and  administered  justice  to  all 
with  an  impartiality,  application,  and  tenderness,  which  gained 
him  the  good-will  even  of  those  who  lost  their  causes.  He  was 
surnamed  the  advocate  and  lawyer  of  the  poor.  He  built  a  house 
near  his  own  for  a  hospital  of  the  poor  and  sick ;  he  washed  their 
feet,  cleansed  their  ulcers,  served  them  at  table,  and  ate  himself  only 
the  scraps  which  they  had  left.  He  distributed  his  corn,  or  the 
price  for  which  he  sold  it,  among  the  poor  immediately  after  the 
harvest.  When  a  certain  person  endeavored  to  persuade  him  to 
keep  it  some  months  that  he  might  sell  it  at  a  better  price,  he 
answered,  "  I  know  not  whether  I  shall  be  then  alive  to  give  it." 
Another  time  the  same  person  said  to  him,  "  I  have  gained  a  fifth 
by  keeping  my  corn."  "  But  I,"  replied  the  Saint,  "  a  hundred  fold 
by  giving  it  immediately  away."  During  the  Lent  of  1303,  he 
felt  his  strength  failing  him ;  yet  far  from  abating  any  thing  in 
his  austerities,  he  thought  himself  obliged  to  redouble  his  fer- 
vor in  proportion  as  he  advanced  nearer  to  eternity.  On  the  eve 
of  the  Ascension,  he  preached  to  his  people,  said  Mass,  being  up- 
held by  two  persons,  and  gave  advice  to  all  who  addressed  them- 
selves to  him.  After  this,  he  lay  down  on  his  bed,  which  was  a 
hurdle  of  twigs  plaited  together,  and  received  the  last  Sacraments. 
From  that  moment  he  entertained  himself  with  God  alone  till  his 
soul  went  to  possess  Him  in  his  glory.  His  death  happened  on 
the  19th  of  May,  1303,  in  the  fiftieth  year  of  his  age. 

Reflection. — St.  Yvo  was  a  Saint  amidst  the  dangers  of  the 
world ;  but  he  preserved  his  virtue  untainted  only  by  arming  him- 
self carefully  against  them,  by  conversing  assiduously  with  God 
in  prayer  and  holy  meditation,  and  by  most  watchfully  shunning 
the  snares  of  bad  company.  Without  this  precaution,  all  the 
instructions  of  parents,  and  all  other  means  of  virtue,  are  in- 
effectual ;  and  the  soul  is  sure  to  split  against  this  rock,  which  does 
not  steer  wide  of  it. 

May  23.]^ 




fT.  JULIA  was  a  noble  virgin  at  Carthage,  who,  when  the  city 
was  taken  by  Genseric  in  439,  was  sold  for  a  slave  to  a  pagan 
merchant  of  Syria,  named  Eusebius.  Under  the  most  mor- 
tifying employments  of  her  station,  by  cheerfulness  and  patience 
she  found  a  happiness  and  comfort  which  the  world  could  not  have 
afforded.  All  the  time  she  was  not  employed  in  her  master's  busi- 
ness was  devoted  to  prayer  and  reading  books  of  piety.  Her  mas- 
ter, who  was  charmed  with  her  fidelity  and  other  virtues,  thought 
proper  to  carry  her  with  him  on  one  of  his  voyages  to  Gaul.  Hav- 

ing reached  the  northern  part  of  Corsica,  he  cast  anchor,  and  went 
on  shore  to  join  the  pagans  of  the  place  in  an  idolatrous  festival. 
Julia  was  left  at  some  distance  because  she  would  not  be  defiled 
by  the  superstitious  ceremonies  which  she  openly  reviled.  Felix, 
the  governor  of  the  island,  who  was  a  bigoted  pagan,  asked  who 
this  woman  was  who  dared  to  insult  the  gods.  Eusebius  informed 
him  that  she  was  a  Christian,  and  that  all  his  authority  over  her 
was  too  weak  to  prevail  with  her  to  renounce  her  religion ;  but 
that  he  found  her  so  diligent  and  faithful  he  could  not  part  with 
her.  The  governor  offered  him  four  of  his  best  female  slaves  in 
exchange  for  her.  But  the  merchant  replied,  "  No ;  all  you  are 
worth  will  not  purchase  her;  for  I  would  freely  lose  the  most 



[May  24. 

valuable  thing  I  have  in  the  world  rather  than  be  deprived  of  her." 
However  the  governor,  while  Eusebius  was  drunk  and  asleep,  took 
upon  him  to  compel  her  to  sacrifice  to  his  gods.  He  offered  to 
procure  her  liberty  if  she  would  comply.  The  Saint  made  answer 
that  she  was  as  free  as  she  desired  to  be  as  long  as  she  was  allowed 
to  serve  Jesus  Christ.  Felix,  thinking  himself  derided  by  her  un- 
daunted and  resolute  air,  in  a  transport  of  rage  caused  her  to  be 
struck  on  the  face,  and  the  t  hair  of  her  head  to  be  torn  off;  and 
lastly,  ordered  her  to  be  hanged  on  a  cross  till  she  expired.  Cer- 
tain monks  of  the  Isle  of  Gorgon  carried  off  her  body ;  but  in  763 
Desiderius,  King  of  Lombardy,  removed  her  relics  to  Brescia, 
where  her  memory  is  celebrated  with  great  devotion. 

Reflection. — St.  Julia,  whether  free  or  a  slave,  whether  in 
prosperity  or  in  adversity,  was  equally  fervent  and  devout.  She 
adored  all  the  sweet  designs  of  Providence  ;  and  far  from  com- 
plaining, she  never  ceased  to  praise  and  thank  God  under  all  His 
holy  appointments,  making  them  always  the  means  of  her  virtue 
and  sanctification.  God,  by  an  admirable  chain  of  events,  raised 
her  by  her  fidelity  to  the  honor  of  the  saints,  and  to  the  dignity  of 
a  virgin  and  martyr. 



tHERE  lived  at  Nantes  an  illustrious  young  nobleman  named 
Donatian,  who,  having  received  the  holy  sacrament  of  regen- 
eration, led  a  most  edifying  life,  and  strove  with  much  zeal 
to  convert  others  to  faith  in  Christ.  His  elder  brother,  Ro- 
gatian,  was  not  able  to  resist  the  moving  example  of  his  piety 
and  the  force  of  his  discourses,  and  desired  to  be  baptized. 
But  the  bishop  having  withdrawn  and  concealed  himself  for  fear 
of  the  persecution,  he  was  not  able  to  receive  that  sacrament,  but 
was  shortly  after  baptized  in  his  blood;  for  he  declared  himself  a 
Christian  at  a  time  when  to  embrace  that  sacred  profession  was  to 
become  a  candidate  for  martyrdom.  Donatian  was  impeached  for 
professing  himself  a  Christian,  and  for  having  withdrawn  others, 
particularly  his  brother,  from  the  worship  of  the  gods.  Donatian 
was  therefore  apprehended,  and  having  boldly  confessed  Christ 
before  the  governor,  was  cast  into  prison  and  loaded  with  irons. 
Rogatian  was  also  brought  before  the  prefect,  who  endeavored  first 
to  gain  him  by  flattering  speeches,  but  finding  him  inflexible,  sent 
him  to  prison  with  his  brother.    Rogatian  grieved  that  he  had  not 

May  25.] 



been  able  to  receive  the  sacrament  of  baptism,  and  prayed  that  the 
kiss  of  peace  which  his  brother  gave  him  might  supply  it.  Dona- 
tian  also  prayed  for  him  that  his  faith  might  procure  for  him  the 
effect  of  baptism,  and  the  effusion  of  his  blood  that  of  the  sacra- 
ment of  confirmation.  They  passed  that  night  together  in  fervent 
prayer.  They  were  the  next  day  called  for  again  by  the  prefect, 
to  whom  they  declared  that  they  were  ready  to  suffer  for  the  name 
of  Christ  whatever  torments  were  prepared  for  them.  By  the  order 
of  the  inhuman  judge  they  were  first  stretched  on  the  rack,  after- 
wards their  heads  were  pierced  with  lances,  and  lastly  cut  off, 
about  the  year  287. 

Reflection. — Three  things  are  pleasing  unto  God  and  man, 
concord  among  brethren,  the  love  of  parents,  and  the  union  of 
man  and  wife. 


p  REGORY  VII.,  by  name  Hildebrand,  was  born  in  Tuscany,, 
about  the  year  1013.  He  was  educated  in  Rome.  From 
thence  he  went  to  France,  and  became  a  monk  at  Cluny. 
Afterwards  he  returned  to  Rome,  and  for  many  years  filled  high 
trusts  of  the  Holy  See.  Three  great  evils  then  afflicted  the  Church  : 
simony,  concubinage,  and  the  custom  of  receiving  investiture  from 
lay  hands.    Against  these  three  corruptions  Gregory  never  ceased 



[May  25. 

to  contend.  As  legate  of  Victor  II.  he  held  a  Council  at  Lyons, 
where  simony  was  condemned.  He  was  elected  Pope  in  1073,  and 
at  once  called  upon  the  pastors  of  the  Catholic  world  to  lay  down 
their  lives  rather  than  betray  the  laws  of  God  to  the  will  of  princes. 
Rome  was  in  rebellion  through  the  ambition  of  the  Cenci.  Gre- 
gory excommunicated  them.  They  laid  hands  on  him  at  Christ- 
mas during  the  midnight  Mass,  wounded  him,  and  cast  him  into 
prison.  The  following  day  he  was  rescued  by  the  people.  Next 
arose  his  conflict  with  Henry  IV.,  Emperor  of  Germany.  This 
monarch,  after  openly  relapsing  into  simony,  pretended  to  depose 

the  Pope.  Gregory  excommunicated  the  emperor.  His  subjects 
turned  against  him,  and  at  last  he  sought  absolution  of  Gregory  at 
Canossa.  But  he  did  not  persevere.  Fie  set  up  an  antipope,  and 
besieged  Gregory  in  the  castle  of  St.  Angelo.  The  aged  pontiff 
was  obliged  to  flee,  and  on  May  25th,  1085,  about  the  seventy- 
second  year  of  his  life,  and  the  twelfth  year  of  his  pontificate,  Gre- 
gory entered  into  his  rest.  His  last  words  were  full  of  a  divine 
wisdom  and  patience.  As  he  was  dying,  he  said,  "  I  have  loved 
justice  and  hated  iniquity,  therefore  I  die  in  exile."  His  faithful 
attendant  answered,  "  Vicar  of  Christ,  an  exile  thou  canst  never  be, 
for  to  thee  God  has  given  the  Gentiles  for  an  inheritance,  and  the 
uttermost  ends  of  the  earth  for  thy  possession." 

May  26.] 



Reflection. — Eight  hundred  years  are  passed  since  St.  Gre- 
gory died,  and  we  see  the  same  conflict  renewed  before  our  eyes. 
Let  us  learn  from  him  to  suffer  any  persecution  from  the  world  or 
the  State,  rather  than  betray  the  rights  of  the  Holy  See. 

MAY  26. — ST.  PHILIP  NERI. 

&|rQHILIP  was  one  of  the  noble  line  of  Saints  raised  up  by  God 
Jfi  in  the  sixteenth  century  to  console  and  bless  His  Church. 

After  a  childhood  of  angelic  beauty,  the  Holy  Spirit  drew 
him  away  from  Florence,  the  place  of  his  birth,  showed  him  the 
world,  that  he  might  freely  renounce  it,  led  him  to  Rome,  mod- 
elled him  in  mind  and  heart  and  will,  and  then,  as  by  a  second 
Pentecost,  came  down  in  visible  form  and  filled  his  soul  with  light 
and  peace  and  joy.  He  would  have  gone  to  India,  but  God  re- 
served him  for  Rome.  There  he  went  on  simply  from  day  to  day, 
drawing  souls  to  Jesus,  exercising  them  in  mortification  and  char- 
ity, and  binding  them  together  by  cheerful  devotions ;  thus,  un- 
consciously to  himself,  under  the  hands  of  Mary,  as  he  said,  the 

Oratory  grew  up,  and  all  Rome  was  pervaded  and  transformed 
by  its  spirit.  His  life  was  a  continuous  miracle,  his  habitual  state 
an  ecstasy.  He  read  the  hearts  of  men,  foretold  their  future, 
knew  their  eternal  destiny.    His  touch  gave  health  of  body  ;  his 



[May  26. 

very  look  calmed  souls  in  trouble  and  drove  away  temptations. 
He  was  gay,  genial,  and  irresistibly  winning ;  neither  insult  nor 
wrong  could  dim  the  brightness  of  his  joy. 

Philip  lived  in  an  atmosphere  of  sunshine  and  gladness  which 
brightened  all  who  came  near  him.  "  When  I  met  him  in  the 
street,"  says  one,  "he  would  pat  my  cheek  and  say,  '  Well,  how  is 
Don  Pellegrino  ? '  and  leave  me  so  full  of  joy  that  I  could  not  tell 
which  way  I  was  going."  Others  said  that  when  he  playfully 
pulled  their  hair  or  their  ears,  their  hearts  would  bound  with  joy. 
Marcio  Altieri  felt  such  overflowing  gladness  in  his  presence  that 
he  said  Philip's  room  was  a  paradise  on  earth.  Fabrizio  de  Mas- 
simi  would  go  in  sadness  or  perplexity  and  stand  at  Philip's  door; 
he  said  it  was  enough  to  see  him,  to  be  near  him.  And  long  after 
his  death,  it  was  enough  for  many,  when  troubled,  to  go  into  his 
room,  to  find  their  hearts  lightened  and  gladdened.  He  inspired 
a  boundless  confidence  and  love,  and  was  the  common  refuge  and 
consoler  of  all.  A  gentle  jest  would  convey  his  rebukes  and  veil 
his  miracles.  The  highest  honors  sought  him  out,  but  he  put  them 
from  him.  He  died  in  his  eightieth  year,  a.d.  1595,  and  bears  the 
grand  title  of  Apostle  of  Rome. 

Reflection. — Philip  wished  his  children  to  serve  God,  like 
the  first  Christians,  in  gladness  of  heart.  He  said  this  was  the 
true  filial  spirit ;  this  expands  the  soul,  giving  it  liberty  and  per- 
fection in  action,  power  over  temptations,  and  fuller  aid  to  perse- 


UGUSTINE  was  prior  of  the  monastery  of  St.  Andrew  on 
the  Ccelian,  and  was  appointed  by  St.  Gregory  the  Great 
chief  of  the  missionaries  whom  he  sent  to  England. 
St.  Augustine  and  his  companions,  having  heard  on  their  jour- 
ney many  reports  of  the  barbarism  and  ferocity  of  the  pagan  Eng- 
lish, were  afraid,  and  wished  to  turn  back.  But  St.  Gregory  re- 
plied, "  Go  on,  in  God's  name  !  The  greater  your  hardships,  the 
greater  your  crown.  May  the  grace  of  Almighty  God  protect 
you,  and  give  me  to  see  the  fruit  of  your  labor  in  the  heavenly 
country !  If  I  cannot  share  your  toil,  I  shall  yet  share  the  har- 
vest, for  God  knows  that  it  is  not  good-will  which  is  wanting." 
The  band  of  missionaries  went  on  in  obedience. 

Landing  at  Ebbsfleet,  between  Sandwich  and  Ramsgate,  they 
met  King  Ethelbert  and  his  thanes  under  a  great  oak-tree  at  Min- 

May  27.] 



ster,  and  announced  to  him  the  Gospel  of  Jesus  Christ.  Instant 
and  complete  success  attended  their  preaching.  On  Whit  Sunday, 
596,  King  Ethelbert  was  baptized,  and  his  example  was  followed 
by  the  greater  number  of  his  nobles  and  people.  By  degrees  the 
faith  spread  far  and  wide,  and  Augustine,  as  Papal  Legate,  set 
out  on  a  visitation  of  Britain.  He  failed  in  his  attempt  to  enlist 
the  Britons  of  the  west  in  the  work  of  his  apostolate,  through 
their  obstinate  jealousy  and  pride  ;  but  his  success  was  triumphant 
from  south  to  north.  St.  Augustine  died  after  eight  years  of  evan- 
gelical labors.  The  Anglo-Saxon  Church,  which  he  founded,  is 
still  famous  for  its  learning,  zeal,  and  devotion  to  the  Holy  See, 
while  its  calendar  commemorates  no  less  than  300  Saints,  half  of 
whom  were  of  royal  birth. 

Reflection. — The  work  of  an  apostle  is  the  work  of  the  right 
Hand  of  God.  He  often  chooses  weak  instruments  for  His 
mightiest  purposes.  The  most  sure  augury  of  lasting  success  in 
missionary  labor  is  obedience  to  superiors  and  diffidence  in  self. 


v@T.  MARY  MAGDALEN  of  Pazzi,  of  an  illustrious  house  in 

Florence,  was  born  in  the  year  1566,  and  baptized  by  the 

name  of  Catherine.  She  received  her  first  communion  at 
ten  years  of  age,  and  made  a  vow  of  virginity  at  twelve.  She  took 
great  pleasure  in  carefully  teaching  the  Christian  doctrine  to  the 
ignorant.  Her  father,  not  knowing  her  vow,  wished  to  give  her 
in  marriage,  but  she  persuaded  him  to  allow  her  to  become  a  re- 
ligious. It  was  more  difficult  to  obtain  her  mother's  consent ; 
but  at  last  she  gained  it,  and  she  was  professed,  being  then  eigh- 
teen years  of  age,  in  the  Carmelite  monastery  of  Santa  Maria 
degli  Angeli  in  Florence,  May  17th,  1584.  She  changed  her  name 
Catherine  into  that  of  Mary  Magdalen  on  becoming  a  nun,  and 
took  as  her  motto,  "To  suffer  or  die;"  and  her  life  henceforth 
was  a  life  of  penance  for  sins  not  her  own,  and  of  love  of  our 
Lord,  who  tried  her  in  ways  fearful  and  strange.  She  was  obe- 
dient, observant  of  the  rule,  humble  and  mortified,  and  had 
a  great  reverence  for  the  religious  life.  She  loved  poverty  and 
suffering,  and  hungered  after  Communion.  The  day  of  Commu- 
nion she  called  the  day  of  love.  The  charity  that  burned  in  her 
heart  led  her  in  her  youth  to  choose  the  house  of  the  Carmelites, 
because  the  religious  therein  communicated  every  day.    She  re- 



[May  27. 

joiced  to  see  others  communicate,  even  when  she  was  not  allowed 
to  do  so  herself ;  and  her  love  for  her  sisters  grew  when  she  saw 
them  receive  our  Lord. 

God  raised  her  to  high  states  of  prayer,  and  gave  her  rare 
gifts,  enabling  her  to  read  the  thoughts  of  her  novices,  and  filling 
her  with  wisdom  to  direct  them  aright.  She  was  twice  chosen 
mistress  of  novices,  and  then  made  superioress,  when  God  took 
her  to  Himself,  May  25th,  1607.    Her  body  is  incorrupt. 

Reflection. — St.  Mary  Magdalen  of  Pazzi  was  so  filled  with 
the  love  of  God  that  her  sisters  in  the  monastery  observed  it  in 
her  love  of  themselves,  and  called  her  "  the  Mother  of  Charity," 
and  "  the  Charity  of  the  Monastery." 


ENERABLE  BEDE,  the  illustrious  ornament  of  the  Anglo- 
Saxon  Church  and  the  first  English  historian,  was  conse- 
crated to  God  at  the  age  of  seven,  and  intrusted  to  the  care 
of  St.  Benedict  Biscop  at  Wearmouth.  He  became  a  monk  in 
the  sister-house  of  Jarrow,  and  there  trained  no  less  than  six  hun- 
dred scholars,  whom  his  piety,  learning,  and  sweet  disposition  had 
gathered  round  him.  To  the  toils  of  teaching  and  the  exact  ob- 
servance of  his  rule,  he  added  long  hours  of  private  prayer,  and 

May  28.] 



the  study  of  every  branch  of  science  and  literature  then  known. 
He  was  familiar  with  Latin,  Greek,  and  Hebrew.  In  the  treatise 
which  he  compiled  for  his  scholars,  still  extant,  he  threw  together 
all  that  the  world  had  then  stored  in  history,  chronology,  physics,, 
music,  philosophy,  poetry,  arithmetic,  and  medicine.  In  his  Ec- 
clesiastical History,  he  has  left  us  beautiful  lives  of  Anglo-Saxon 
Saints  and  holy  fathers,  while  his  commentaries  on  the  Holy 
Scriptures  are  still  in  use  by  the  Church.  It  wras  to  the  study  of 
the  Divine  Word  that  he  devoted  the  whole  energy  of  his  soul, 
and  at  times  his  compunction  wras  so  overpowering  that  his  voice 
would  break  with  weeping,  while  the  tears  of  his  scholars  min- 
gled with  his  own.  He  had  little  aid  from  others,  and  during  his 
later  years  suffered  from  constant  illness;  yet  he  worked  and 
prayed  up  to  his  last  hour. 

The  Saint  was  employed  in  translating  the  Gospel  of  St.  John, 
from  the  Greek  up  to  the  hour  of  his  death,  which  took  place  on 
Ascension-day,  a.d.  735.  "He  spent  that  day  joyfully,"  writes 
one  of  his  scholars.  And  in  the  evening  the  boy  who  attended 
him  said,  "  Dear  master,  there  is  yet  one  sentence  unwritten.''" 
He  answered,  "Write  it  quickly."  Presently  the  youth  said, 
"  Now  it  is  written."  He  replied,  "  Good  !  thou  hast  said  the 
truth — consummatum  est ;  take  my  head  into  thy  hands,  for  it  is 
very  pleasant  to  me  to  sit  facing  my  old  praying-place,  and  there 
to  call  upon  my  Father."  And  so  on  the  floor  of  his  cell  he  sang, 
"  Glory  be  to  the  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost;"  and  just  as  he 
said,  "  Holy  Ghost,"  he  breathed  his  last,  and  went  to  the  realms 

Reflection. — "  The  more,"  says  the  Imitation  of  Christ,  "  a  man 
is  united  within  himself  and  interiorly  simple,  so  much  the  more 
and  deeper  things  doth  he  understand  without  labor ;  for  he 
receiveth  the  light  of  understanding  from  on  high." 


\@T.  GERMANUS,  the  glory  of  the  church  of  France  in  the 
V«3  sixth  century,  was  born  in  the  territory  of  Autun,  about  the 
year  469.  In  his  youth  he  was  conspicuous  for  his  fervor. 
Being  ordained  priest,  he  was  made  abbot  of  St.  Symphorian's ; 
he  was  favored  at  that  time  with  the  gifts  of  miracles  and  prophecy. 
It  was  his  custom  to  watch  the  great  part  of  the  night  in  the  church 
in  prayer,  whilst  his  monks  slept.    One  night,  in  a  dream,  he 



[May  28. 

thought  a  venerable  old  man  presented  him  with  the  keys  of  the 
city  of  Paris,  and  said  to  him,  that  God  committed  to  his  care  the 
inhabitants  of  that  city,  that  he  should  save  them  from  perishing. 
Four  years  after  this  divine  admonition,  in  554,  happening  to  be 
at  Paris  when  that  see  became  vacant,  on  the  demise  of  the  bishop 
Eusebius,  he  was  exalted  to  the  episcopal  chair,  though  he  endea- 
vored by  many  tears  to  decline  the  charge.  His  promotion  made 
no  alteration  in  his  mode  of  life.  The  same  simplicity  and  fru- 
gality appeared  in  his  dress,  table,  and  furniture.  His  house  was 
perpetually  crowded  with  the  poor  and  the  afflicted,  and  he  had 

always  many  beggars  at  his  own  table.  God  gave  to  his  sermons 
a  wonderful  influence  over  the  minds  of  all  ranks  of  people ;  so 
that  the  face  of  the  whole  city  was  in  a  very  short  time  quite 
changed.  King  Childebert,  who  till  then  had  been  an  ambitious, 
worldly  prince,  was  entirely  converted  by  the  sweetness  and  the 
powerful  discourses  of  the  Saint,  and  founded  many  religious  in- 
stitutions, and  sent  large  sums  of  money  to  the  good  bishop,  to  be 
distributed  among  the  indigent.  In  his  old  age  St.  Germanus  lost 
nothing  of  that  zeal  and  activity  with  which  he  had  filled  the  great 
duties  of  his  station  in  the  vigor  of  his  life ;  nor  did  the  weakness 
to  which  his  corporal  austerities  had  reduced  him  make  him  abate 
;any  thing  in  the  mortifications  of  his  penitential  life,  in  which  he 
redoubled  his  fervor  as  he  approached  nearer  to  the  end  of  his 

May  29.] 



course.  By  his  zeal  the  remains  of  idolatry  were  extirpated  in 
France.  The  Saint  continued  his  labors  for  the  conversion  of  sin- 
ners till  he  was  called  to  receive  the  reward  of  them,  on  the  28th 
of  May,  576,  being  eighty  years  old. 

Reflection. — "  In  the  churches,  bless  ye  God  the  Lord.  From 
Thy  temple,  kings  shall  offer  presents  to  Thee." 


T.  CYRIL  suffered  while  still  a  boy  at  Csesarea,  in  Cappado- 
1  cia,  during  the  persecutions  of  the  third  century.    He  used 

to  repeat  the  name  of  Christ  at  all  times,  and  confessed  that 
the  mere  utterance  of  this  name  moved  him  strangely.  He  was 
beaten  and  reviled  by  his  heathen  father.  But  he  bore  all  this  with 
joy,  increasing  in  the  strength  of  Christ,  who  dwelt  wirhin  him,  and 

drawing  many  of  his  own  age  to  the  imitation  of  his  heavenly  life. 
When  his  father  in  his  fury  turned  him  out  of  doors,  he  said  he 
had  lost  little,  and  would  receive  a  great  recompense  instead. 

Soon  after,  he  was  brought  before  the  magistrate  on  account  of 
his  faith.  No  threats  could  make  him  show  a  sign  of  fear,  and  the 
judge,  pitying  perhaps  his  tender  years,  offered  him  his  freedom, 
assured  him  of  his  father's  forgiveness,  and  besought  him  to  re- 



[May  30. 

turn  to  his  home  and  inheritance.  But  the  blessed  youth  replied, 
"  I  left  my  home  gladly,  for  I  have  a  greater  and  a  better  which  is 
waiting  for  me."  He  was  filled  with  the  same  heavenly  desires  to 
the  end.  He  was  taken  to  the  fire  as  if  for  execution,  and  was 
then  brought  back  and  re-examined,  but  he  only  protested  against 
the  cruel  delay.  Led  out  to  die,  he  hurried  on  the  executioners, 
gazed  unmoved  at  the  flames  which  were  kindled  for  him,  and  ex- 
pired, hastening,  as  he  said,  to  his  home. 

Reflection. — Ask  our  Lord  to  make  all  earthly  joy  insipid, 
and  to  fill  you  with  the  constant  desire  of  heaven.  This  desire 
will  make  labor  easy  and  suffering  light.  It  will  make  you  fer- 
vent and  detached,  and  bring  you  even  here  a  foretaste  of  that 
eternal  joy  and  peace  to  which  you  are  hastening. 


T.  FELIX  was  a  Roman  by  birth,  and  succeeded  St.  Dionysius 
in  the  government  of  the  Church  in  269.    Paul  of  Samosata, 
the  proud  bishop  of  Antioch,  to  the  guilt  of  many  enormous 
crimes,  added  that  of  heresy,  teaching  that  Christ  was  no  more  than 

a  mere  man,  in  whom  the  Divine  Word  dwelt  by  its  operation, 
and  as  in  its  temple,  with  many  other  gross  errors  concerning  the 
capital  mysteries  of  the  Trinity  and  Incarnation.    Three  councils 

May  31.] 



were  held  at  Antioch  to  examine  his  cause,  and  in  the  third,  as- 
sembled in  269,  being  clearly  convicted  of  heresy,  pride,  and  many 
scandalous  crimes,  he  was  excommunicated  and  deposed,  and 
Domnus  was  substituted  in  his  place.  As  Paul  still  kept  posses- 
sion of  the  episcopal  house,  our  Saint  had  recourse  to  the  emperor 
Aurelian,  who,  though  a  pagan,  gave  an  order  that  the  house  should 
belong  to  him  to  whom  the  bishops  of  Rome  and  Italy  adjudged 
it.  The  persecution  of  Aurelian  breaking  out,  St.  Felix,  fearless 
of  danger,  strengthened  the  weak,  encouraged  all,  baptized  the 
catechumens,  and  continued  to  exert  himself  in  converting  in- 
fidels to  the  faith.  He  himself  obtained  the  glory  of  martyrdom. 
He  governed  the  Church  five  years,  and  passed  to  a  glorious  eter- 
nity in  274. 

Reflection. — The  example  of  our  Saviour  and  of  all  His  saints, 
ought  to  encourage  us  under  all  trials  to  suffer  with  patience  and 
even  with  joy.  We  shall  soon  begin  to  feel  that  it  is  sweet  to 
tread  in  the  steps  of  a  God-man,  and  shall  find  that  if  we  coura- 
geously take  up  our  crosses,  He  will  make  them  light  by  sharing 
the  burden  with  us. 


MONG  the  disciples  of  the  apostles  in  the  primitive  age  of 
saints,  this  holy  virgin  shone  as  a  bright  star  in  the  Church. 
She  lived  when  Christians  were  more  solicitous  to  live  well 
than  to  write  much  :  they  knew  how  to  die  for  Christ ;  but  did  not 
compile  long  books  in  which  vanity  has  often  a  greater  share  than 
charity.  Hence  no  particular  account  of  her  actions  has  been 
handed  down  to  us.  But  how  eminent  her  sanctity  was  we 
may  judge  from  the  lustre  by  which  it  was  distinguished  among 
apostles,  prophets,  and  martyrs.  She  is  said  to  have  been  a  daugh- 
ter of  the  apostle  St.  Peter ;  that  St.  Peter  was  married  before  his 
vocation  to  the  apostleship  we  learn  from  the  gospel.  St.  Clement 
of  Alexandria  assures  us  that  his  wife  attained  to  the  glory  of 
martyrdom  ;  at  which  Peter  himself  encouraged  her,  bidding  her 
to  remember  our  Lord.  But  it  seems  not  certain  whether  St.  Pe- 
tronilla  was  more  than  the  spiritual  daughter  of  that  apostle.  She 
flourished  at  Rome,  and  was  buried  on  the  way  to  Ardea,  where  in 
ancient  times  a  cemetery  and  a  church  bore  her  name. 

Reflection. — With  the  saints  the  great  end  for  which  they 
lived  was  always  present  to  their  minds,  and  they  thought  every 



[June  i. 

moment  lost  in  which  they  did  not  make  some  advances  toward 
eternal  bliss.  How  will  their  example  condemn  at  the  last  day 
the  trifling  fooleries,  and  the  greatest  part  of  the  conversation  and 
employments  of  the  world,  which  aim  at  nothing  but  present 
amusements,  and  forget  the  only  important  aifair — the  business  of 


fT.  JUSTIN  was  born  of  heathen  parents  at  Neapolis  in  Sa- 
maria, about  the  year  103.  He  was  well  educated,  and  gave 
himself  to  the  study  of  philosophy,  but  always  with  one  ob- 
ject, that  he  might  learn  the  knowledge  of  God.  He  sought  this 
knowledge  among  the  contending  schools  of  philosophy,  but  al- 
ways in  vain,  till  at  last  God  himself  appeased  the  thirst  which  he 
had  created.  One  day,  while  Justin  was  walking  by  the  seashore, 
meditating  on  the  thought  of  God,  an  old  man  met  him  and  ques- 
tioned him  on  the  subject  of  his  doubts ;  and  when  he  had  made 
Justin  confess  that  the  philosophers  taught  nothing  certain  about 
God,  he  told  him  of  the  writings  of  the  inspired  prophets  and  of 
Jesus  Christ  whom  they  announced,  and  bade  him  seek  light  and 
understanding  through  prayer.  The  Scriptures  and  the  constancy 
of  the  Christian  martyrs  led  Justin  from  the  darkness  of  human 
reason  to  the  light  of  faith.    In  his  zeal  for  the  faith  he  travelled 

June  i.] 



to  Greece,  Egypt,  and  Italy,  gaining  many  to  Christ.  At  Rome 
he  sealed  his  testimony  with  his  blood,  surrounded  by  his  disciples. 
"Do  you  think,"  the  prefect  said  to  Justin,  "  that  by  dying  you 
will  enter  heaven  and  be  rewarded  by  God?"  "I  do  not  think," 
was  the  Saint's  answer;  "I  know."  Then,  as  now,  there  were 
many  religious  opinions,  but  only  one  certainty — the  certainty  of 
the  Catholic  faith.  This  certainty  should  be  the  measure  of  our 
confidence  and  our  zeal. 

Reflection. — We  have  received  the  gift  of  faith  with  little 
labor  of  our  own.  Let  us  learn  how  to  value  it  from  those  who 
reached  it  after  long  search,  and  lived  in  the  misery  of  a  world 
which  did  not  know  God.  Let  us  fear,  as  St.  Justin  did,  the  ac- 
count we  shall  have  to  render  for  the  gift  of  God. 


-yXgJT.  PAMPHILUS  was  of  a  rich  and  honorable  family,  and  a 
CS)  native  of  Berytus,  in  which  city,  at  that  time  famous  for  its 
schools,  he  in  his  youth  ran  through  the  whole  circle  of  the 
sciences,  and  was  afterward  honored  with  the  first  employments  of 
the  magistracy.  After  he  began  to  know  Christ,  he  could  relish 
no  other  study  but  that  of  salvation,  and  renounced  every  thing 
else  that  he  might  apply  himself  wholly  to  the  exercises  of  virtue, 
and  the  studies  of  the  Holy  Scriptures.  This  accomplished  mas- 
ter in  profane  sciences,  and  this  renowned  magistrate,  was  not 
ashamed  to  become  the  humble  scholar  of  Pierius,  the  successor 
of  Origen,  in  the  great  catechetical  school  of  Alexandria.  He 
afterward  made  Caesarea,  in  Palestine,  his  residence,  where,  at  his 
private  expense,  he  collected  a  great  library,  which  he  bestowed 
on  the  church  of  that  city.  The  Saint  established  there  also  a 
public  school  of  sacred  literature,  and  to  his  labors  the  Church 
was  indebted  for  a  most  correct  edition  of  the  Holy  Bible,  which, 
with  infinite  care,  he  transcribed  himself.  But  nothing  was  more 
remarkable  in  this  Saint  than  his  extraordinary  humility.  His 
paternal  estate  he  at  length  distributed  among  the  poor ;  towards 
his  slaves  and  domestics  his  behavior  was  always  that  of  a  brother 
or  a  tender  father.  He  led  a  most  austere  life,  sequestered  from 
the  world  and  its  company,  and  was  indefatigable  in  labor.  Such 
a  virtue  was  his  apprenticeship  to  the  grace  of  martyrdom.  In 
the  year  307,  Urbanus,  the  cruel  governor  of  Palestine,  caused  him 
to  be  apprehended,  and  commanded  him  to  be  most  inhumanly  tor- 



[June  i. 

mented.  But  the  iron  hooks  which  tore  the  martyr's  sides  served 
only  to  cover  the  judge  with  confusion.  After  this,  the  Saint  re- 
mained almost  two  years  in  prison.  Urbanus,  the  governor,  was 
himself  beheaded  by  an  order  of  the  emperor  Maximinus,  but  was 
succeeded  by  Firmilian,  a  man  not  less  barbarous  than  bigoted  and 
superstitious.  After  several  butcheries,  he  caused  St.  Pamphilus 
to  be  brought  before  him,  and  passed  sentence  of  death  upon 
him.  His  flesh  was  torn  off  to  the  very  bones,  and  his  bowels  ex- 
posed to  view,  and  the  torments  were  continued  a  long  time  with- 
out intermission,  but  he  never  once  opened  his  mouth  so  much  as 

to  groan.  He  finished  his  martyrdom  by  a  slow  fire,  and  died  in- 
voking Jesus,  the  Son  of  God. 

Reflection. — A  cloud  of  witnesses,  a  noble  army  of  martyrs, 
teach  us  by  their  constancy  to  suffer  wrong  with  patience,  and 
strenuously  to  resist  evil.  The  daily  trials  we  meet  with  from 
others  or  from  ourselves,  are  always  sent  us  by  God,  who  some- 
times throws  difficulties  in  our  way  on  purpose  to  reward  our 
conquest ;  and  sometimes,  like  a  wise  physician,  restores  us  to  our 
health  by  bitter  potions. 

June  2.] 




FTER  the  miraculous  victory  obtained  by  the  prayers  of  the 

Christians  under  Marcus  Aurelius,  in  174,  the  Church  en- 

joyed a  kind  of  peace,  though  it  was  often  disturbed  in  par- 
ticular places  by  popular  commotions,  or  by  the  superstitious  fury 
of  certain  governors.  This  appears  from  the  violent  persecution 
which  was  raised  three  years  after  the  aforesaid  victory,  at  Vienne 
and  Lyons,  in  177  ;  whilst  St.  Pothinus  was  bishop  of  Lyons,  and 
St.  Irenseus,  who  had  been  sent  thither  by  St.  Polycarp  out  of  Asia, 

was  a  priest  of  that  city.  Many  of  the  principal  Christians  were 
brought  before  the  Roman  governor.  Among  them  was  a  slave, 
Blandina  :  and  her  mistress,  also  a  Christian,  feared  that  Blandina 
lacked  strength  to  brave  the  torture.  She  was  tormented  a  whole 
day  through,  but  she  bore  it  all  with  joy  till  the  executioners  gave 
up,  confessing  themselves  outdone.  Red-hot  plates  were  held  to 
the  sides  of  Sanctus,  a  deacon  of  Vienne,  till  his  body  became  one 
great  sore,  and  he  looked  no  longer  like  a  man  ;  but  in  the  midst 
of  his  tortures  he  was  "  bedewed  and  strengthened  by  the  stream 
of  heavenly  water  which  flows  from  the  side  of  Christ."  Mean- 
time, many  confessors  were  kept  in  prison,  and  with  them  were 
some  who  had  been  terrified  into  apostasy.  Even  the  heathens 
marked  the  joy  of  martyrdom  in  the  Christians  who  were  decked 



[June  3. 

for  their  eternal  espousals,  and  the  misery  of  the  apostates.  But 
the  faithful  confessors  brought  back  those  who  had  fallen,  and 
the  Church,  "  that  Virgin  Mother,"  rejoiced  when  she  saw  her 
children  live  again  in  Christ.  Some  died  in  prison,  the  rest  were 
martyred  one  by  one,  St.  Blandina  last  of  all,  after  seeing  her 
younger  brother  put  to  a  cruel  death,  and  encouraging  him  to 

Reflection. — In  early  times,  the  Christians  were  called  the 
children  of  joy.  Let  us  seek  the  joy  of  the  Holy  Spirit  to  sweeten 
suffering,  to  temper  earthly  delight,  till  we  enter  into  the  joy  of 
our  Lord. 



T.  CLOTILDA  was  daughter  of  Chilperic,  younger  brother 
to  Gondebald,  the  tyrannical  king  of  Burgundy,  who  put 
him  and  his  wife,  and  his  other  brothers,  except  one,  to 
death,  in  order  to  usurp  their  dominions.  Clotilda  was  brought 
up  in  her  uncle's  court,  and,  by  a  singular  providence,  was  in- 

structed in  the  Catholic  religion,  though  she  was  educated  in  the 
midst  of  Arians.  Her  wit,  beauty,  meekness,  modesty,  and  piety 
made  her  the  adoration  of  all  the  neighboring  kingdoms,  and 

June  4.] 



Clovis  I.,  surnamed  the  Great,  the  victorious  king  of  the  Franks, 
demanded  and  obtained  her  in  marriage.  She  honored  her  royal 
husband,  studied  to  sweeten  his  warlike  temper  by  Christian 
meekness,  conformed  herself  to  his  humor  in  things  that  were 
indifferent,  and,  the  better  to  gain  his  affections,  made  those  things 
the  subject  of  her  discourse  and  praises  in  which  she  knew  him  to 
take  the  greatest  delight.  When  she  saw  herself  mistress  of  his 
heart,  she  did  not  defer  the  great  work  of  endeavoring  to  win 
him  to  God,  but  the  fear  of  giving  offence  to  his  people  made 
him  delay  his  conversion.  His  miraculous  victory  over  the  Ale- 
manni,  and  his  entire  conversion  in  496,  were  at  length  the  fruit 
of  our  Saint's  prayers.  Clotilda,  having  gained  to  God  this  great 
monarch,  never  ceased  to  excite  him  to  glorious  actions  for  the 
divine  honor;  among  other  religious  foundations,  he  built  in. 
Paris,  at  her  request,  about  the  year  511,  the  great  church  of  SS.. 
Peter  and  Paul,  now  called  St.  Genevieve's.  This  great  prince 
died  on  the  27th  of  November,  in  the  year  511,  at  the  age  of  forty- 
five,  having  reigned  thirty  years.  His  eldest  son,  Theodoric, 
reigned  at  Rheims  over  the  eastern  parts  of  France,  Clodomir 
reigned  at  Orleans,  Childebert  at  Paris,  and  Clotaire  I.  at  Sois- 
sons.  This  division  produced  wars  and  mutual  jealousies,  till  in 
560  the  whole  monarchy  was  reunited  under  Clotaire,  the  youngest 
of  these  brothers.  The  dissension  in  her  family  contributed  more 
perfectly  to  wean  Clotilda's  heart  from  the  world.  She  spent  the 
remaining  part  of  her  life  in  exercises  of  prayer,  almsdeeds,  watch- 
ing, fasting,  and  penance,  seeming  totally  to  forget  that  she  had 
been  queen  or  that  her  sons  sat  on  the  throne.  Eternity  filled 
her  heart  and  employed  all  her  thoughts.  She  foretold  her  death 
thirty  days  before  it  happened.  On  the  thirtieth  day  of  her  illness, 
she  received  the  sacraments,  made  a  public  confession  of  her  faith,, 
and  departed  to  the  Lord  on  the  3d  of  June,  in  545. 

Reflection. — St.  Peter  defines  the  mission  of  the  Christian 
woman :  to  win  the  heart  of  those  who  believe  not  the  word. 


;jTg^RANCIS  was  born  in  the  kingdom  of  Naples,  of  the  princely 
family  of  Caracciolo.    In  childhood  he  shunned  all  amuse- 
ments, recited  the  Rosary  regularly,  and  loved  to  visit  the 
Blessed  Sacrament  and  to  distribute  his  food  to  the  poor.    An  at- 
tack of  leprosy  taught  him  the  vileness  of  the  human  body  and  the 



[June  4. 

vanity  of  the  world.  Almost  miraculously  cured,  he  renounced 
his  home  to  study  for  the  priesthood  at  Naples,  where  he  spent 
his  leisure  hours  in  the  prisons  or  visiting  the  Blessed  Sacrament 
in  unfrequented  churches.  God  called  him,  when  only  twenty- 
five,  to  found  an  Order  of  Clerks  Regular,  whose  rule  was  that 
each  day  one  father  fasted  on  bread  and  water,  another  took  the 
discipline,  a  third  wore  a  hair-shirt,  while  they  always  watched  by 
turns  in  perpetual  adoration  before  the  Blessed  Sacrament.  They 
took  the  usual  vows,  adding  a  fourth — not  to  desire  dignities.  To 
establish  his  Order,  Francis  undertook  many  journeys  through 

Italy  and  Spain,  on  foot  and  without  money,  content  with  the 
shelter  and  crusts  given  him  in  charity.  Being  elected  general, 
he  redoubled  his  austerities,  and  devoted  seven  hours  daily  to  medi- 
tation on  the  Passion,  besides  passing  most  of  the  night  praying 
before  the  Blessed  Sacrament.  Francis  was  commonly  called  the 
Preacher  of  Divine  Love.  But  it  was  before  the  Blessed  Sacra- 
ment that  his  ardent  devotion  was  most  clearly  perceptible.  In 
presence  of  his  Divine  Lord,  his  face  usually  emitted  brilliant 
rays  of  light ;  and  he  often  bathed  the  ground  with  his  tears  when 
lie  prayed,  according  to  his  custom,  prostrate  on  his  face  before  the 
;tabernacle,  and  constantly  repeating,  as  one  devoured  by  internal 
fire.  "The  zeal  of  Thy  house  hath  eaten  me  up."  He  died  of 
fever,  aged  forty-four,  on  the  eve  of  Corpus  Christi,  1608,  saying, 

June  5.] 



"Let  us  go,  let  us  go  to  heaven!"  When  his  body  was  opened 
after  death,  his  heart  was  found  as  it  were  burnt  up,  and  these 
words  imprinted  around  it:  "  Zelus  domus  Tuoe  comedit  me" — 
"The  zeal  of  Thy  house  hath  eaten  me  up." 

Reflection. — It  is  for  men,  and  not  for  angels,  that  our  Blessed 
Lord  resides  upon  the  altar.  Yet  angels  throng  our  churches  to 
worship  Him  while  men  desert  Him.  Learn  from  St.  Francis  to 
avoid  such  ingratitude,  and  to  spend,  as  he  did,  every  possible 
moment  before  the  Most  Holy  Sacrament. 

T.  BONIFACE  was  born  at  Crediton,  in  Devonshire,  Eng- 

S)  land,  in  the  year  680.    Some  missionaries  staying  at  his  fa- 

ther's house  spoke  to  him  of  heavenly  things,  and  inspired 
him  with  a  wish  to  devote  himself,  as  they  did,  to  God.  He  en- 
tered the  monastery  of  Exminster,  and  was  there  trained  for  his 
apostolic  work.  His  first  attempt  to  convert  the  pagans  in  Hol- 
land having  failed,  he  went  to  Rome  to  obtain  the  Pope's  blessing 
on  his  mission,  and  returned  with  authority  to  preach  to  the  Ger- 
man tribes.  It  was  a  slow  and  dangerous  task  ;  his  own  life  was 
in  constant  peril,  while  his  flock  was  often  reduced  to  abject  pov- 
erty by  the  wandering  robber  bands.  Yet  his  courage  never 
flagged.  He  began  with  Bavaria  and  Thuringia,  next  visited  Fries- 
land,  then  passed  on  to  Hesse  and  Saxony,  everywhere  destroy- 
ing the  idol  temples  and  raising  churches  on  their  site.  He  en- 
deavored, as  far  as  possible,  to  make  every  object  of  idolatry 
contribute  in  some  way  to  the  glory  of  God ;  on  one  occasion, 
having  cut  down  an  immense  oak  which  was  consecrated  to  Jupi- 
ter, he  used  the  tree  in  building  a  church,  which  he  dedicated  to 
the  Prince  of  the  Apostles.  He  was  now  recalled  to  Rome,  con- 
secrated Bishop  by  the  Pope,  and  returned  to  extend  and  organize 
the  rising  German  Church.  With  diligent  care  he  reformed  abuses 
among  the  existing  clergy,  and  established  religious  houses 
throughout  the  land.  At  length,  feeling  his  infirmities  increase, 
and  fearful  of  losing  his  martyr's  crown,  Boniface  appointed  a 
successor  to  his  monastery,  and  set  out  to  convert  a  fresh  pagan 
tribe.  While  St.  Boniface  was  waiting  to  administer  Confirmation 
to  some  newly-baptized  Christians,  a  troop  of  pagans  arrived  armed 
with  swords  and  spears.  His  attendants  would  have  opposed  them, 
but  the  Saint  said  to  his  followers  :  "  My  children,  cease  your  re- 




[June  6. 

sistance;  the  long-expected  day  is  come'at  last.  Scripture  forbids 
us  to  resist  evil.  Let  us  put  our  hope  in  God :  He  will  save  our 
souls."  Scarcely  had  he  ceased  speaking,  when  the  barbarians  fell 
upon  him  and  slew  him  with  all  his  attendants,  to  the  number  of 

Reflection. — St.  Boniface  teaches  us  how  the  love  of  Christ 
changes  all  things.  It  was  for  Christ's  sake  that  he  toiled  for 
souls,  preferring  poverty  to  riches,  labor  to  rest,  suffering  to 
pleasure,  death  to  life,  that  by  dying  he  might  live  with  Christ. 


F  noble  rank  and  rare  talents,  Norbert  passed  a  most  pious 
youth,  and  entered  the  ecclesiastical  state.  By  a  strange 
contradiction,  his  conduct  now  became  a  scandal  to  his 
sacred  calling,  and  at  the  court  of  the  emperor,  Henry  IV.,  he  led, 
like  many  clerics  of  that  age,  a  life  of  dissipation  and  luxury. 
One  day,  when  he  was  thirty  years  of  age,  he  was  thrown  half 
dead  from  his  horse,  and  on  recovering  his  senses,  resolved  upon 
a  new  life.  After  a  severe  and  searching  preparation,  he  was 
ordained  priest,  and  began  to  expose  the  abuses  of  his  Order. 
Silenced  at  first  by  a  local  council,  he  obtained  the  Pope's  sanction 
and  preached  penance  to  listening  crowds  in  France  and  the 

June  6.] 



Netherlands.  In  the  wild  vale  of  Premontre  he  gave  to  some 
trained  disciples  the  rule  of  St.  Austin,  and  a  white  habit  to  denote 
the  angelic  purity  proper  to  the  priesthood.  The  canons  regular, 
or  Premonstratensians ,  as  they  were  called,  were  to  unite  the  active 
work  of  the  country  clergy  with  the  obligations  of  the  monastic 
life.  Their  fervor  renewed  the  spirit  of  the  priesthood,  quickened 
the  faith  of  the  people,  and  drove  out  heres}-.  A  vile  heretic, 
named  Tankelin,  appeared  at  Antwerp,  in  the  time  of  St.  Norbert, 
and  denied  the  reality  of  the  priesthood,  and  especially  blasphemed 
the  Blessed  Eucharist.  The  Saint  was  sent  for  to  drive  out  the  pest. 

By  his  burning  words,  he  exposed  the  impostor  and  rekindled  the 
faith  in  the  Blessed  Sacrament.  Many  of  the  apostates  had  proved 
their  contempt  for  the  Blessed  Sacrament  by  burying  it  in  filthy 
places.  Norbert  bade  them  search  for  the  Sacred  Hosts.  They 
found  them  entire  and  uninjured,  and  the  Saint  bore  them  back  in 
triumph  to  the  tabernacle.  Hence  he  is  generally  painted  with 
the  monstrance  in  his  hand.  In  11 26,  Norbert  found  himself  ap- 
pointed Bishop  of  Magdeburg;  and  there,  at  the  risk  of  his  life, 
he  zealously  carried  on  his  work  of  reform,  and  died,  worn  out 
with  toil,  at  the  age  of  fifty-three. 

Reflection. — Reparation  for  the  injuries  offered  to  the  Blessed 
Sacrament  was  the  aim  of  St.  Norbert's  great  work  of  reform — 



[June  7. 

in  himself,  in  the  clergy,  and  in  the  faithful.  How  much  does  our 
present  worship  repair  for  our  own  past  irreverences,  and  for  the 
outrages  offered  by  others  to  the  Blessed  Eucharist  ? 


fN  1 132,  Robert  was  a  monk  at  Whitby,  England,  when  news 
arrived  that  thirteen  religious  had  been  violently  expelled 
from  the  Abbey  of  St.  Mary,  in  York,  for  having  proposed  to 
restore  the  strict  Benedictine  rule.  He  at  once  set  out  to  join 
them,  and  found  them  on  the  banks  of  the  Skeld,  near  Ripon, 
living  in  the  midst  of  winter  in  a  hut  made  of  hurdles  and  roofed 
with  turf.  In  the  spring,  they  affiliated  themselves  to  St.  Ber- 
nard's reform  at  Clairvaux,  and  for  two  years  struggled  on  in 
extreme  poverty.  At  length  the  fame  of  their  sanctity  brought 
another  novice,  Hugh,  Dean  of  York,  who  endowed  the  community 
with  all  his  wealth,  and  thus  laid  the  foundation  of  Fountains 
Abbey.  In  1137,  Raynulph,  Baron  of  Morpeth,  was  so  edified  by 
the  example  of  the  monks  at  Fountains  that  he  built  them  a  mon- 
astery in  Northumberland,  called  Newminster,  of  which  St.  Robert 
became  abbot.  The  holiness  of  his  life,  even  more  than  his  words, 
guided  his  brethren  to  perfection,  and  within  the  next  ten  years 
three  new  communities  went  forth  from  this  one  house  to  become 
centres  of  holiness  in  other  parts.  The  abstinence  of  St.  Robert 
in  refectory  alone  sufficed  to  maintain  the  mortified  spirit  of  the 
community.  One  Easter  Day,  his  stomach,  weakened  by  the  fast 
of  Lent,  could  take  no  food,  and  he  at  last  consented  to  try  to  eat 
some  bread  sweetened  with  honey.  Before  it  was  brought,  he  felt 
this  relaxation  would  be  a  dangerous  example  for  his  subjects, 
and  sent  the  food  untouched  to  the  poor  at  the  gate.  The  plate 
was  received  by  a  young  man  of  shining  countenance,  who  straight- 
way disappeared.  At  the  next  meal  the  plate  descended  empty, 
and  by  itself,  to  the  abbot's  place  in  the  refectory,  proving  that 
what  the  Saint  sacrificed  for  his  brethren  had  been  accepted  by 
Christ.  At  the  moment  of  Robert's  death,  in  1159,  St.  Godric,  the 
hermit  of  Finchale,  saw  his  soul,  like  a  globe  of  fire,  borne  up  by 
the  angels  in  a  pathway  of  light;  and  as  the  gates  of  heaven 
opened  before  them,  a  voice  repeated  twice,  "  Enter  now,  my 

Reflection. — Reason  and  authority  prove  that  virtue  ought  to 
be  practised.    But  facts  alone  prove  that  it  is  practised ;  and  this 

June  7.] 



is  why  examples  have  more  power  to  move  our  souls,  and  why 
our  individual  actions  are  of  such  fearful  importance  for  others  as 
well  as  for  ourselves. 


HE  province  of  Eastern  Burgundy  received  great  lustre  from 
this  glorious  Saint.  He  was  born  at  Salins,  about  the  year 
603,  and  was  both  the  model  and  the  oracle  of  the  clergy  of 
Besancon,  when,  upon  the  death  of  Archbishop  Gervaise,  about 
the  year  683,  he  was  chosen  to  be  his  successor.    Fearing  the  ob- 

ligations of  that  charge,  he  fled  and  hid  himself,  but  was  discov- 
ered and  compelled  to  take  it  upon  him.  During  seven  years,  he 
acquitted  himself  of  the  pastoral  functions  with  the  zeal  and  vigi- 
lance of  an  apostle ;  but  finding  then  an  opportunity  of  resigning 
his  see,  which,  out  of  humility  and  love  of  solitude,  he  had  always 
sought,  he  retired  to  the  great  monastery  of  St.  Oyend,  and  there 
took  the  monastic  habit,  in  690.  Violence  was  used  to  oblige  him 
soon  after  to  accept  the  abbatial  dignity.  Such  was  the  sanctity 
of  his  life,  and  his  zeal  in  conducting  his  monks  in  the  paths  of 
evangelical  perfection,  that  he  deserved  to  be  compared  to  the 
Antonines  and  Pacomiuses,  and  his  monastery  to  those  of  ancient 
Egypt.     Manual  labor,  silence,  prayer,  reading  of  pious  books, 



[June  8. 

especially  the  Holy  Bible,  fasting,  watching,  humility,  obedience, 
poverty,  mortification,  and  the  close  union  of  their  hearts  with 
God,  made  up  the  whole  occupation  of  these  fervent  servants  of 
God,  and  were  the  rich  patrimony  which  St.  Claude  left  to  his  dis- 
ciples.   He  died  in  703. 


fT.  MEDARD,  one  of  the  most  illustrious  prelates  of  the 
Church  of  France  in  the  sixth  century,  was  born  of  a 
pious  and  noble  family,  at  Salency,  about  the  year  457. 
From  his  childhood,  he  evinced  the  most  tender  compassion  for 
the  poor.  On  one  occasion,  he  gave  his  coat  to  a  destitute  blind 
man,  and  when  asked  why  he  had  done  so,  he  answered  that  the 
misery  of  a  fellow-member  in  Christ  so  affected  him  that  he  could 
not  help  giving  him  part  of  his  own  clothes.  Being  promoted  to 
the  priesthood  in  the  thirty-third  year  of  his  age,  he  became  a 
bright  ornament  of  that  sacred  order.  He  preached  the  word  of 
God  with  an  unction  which  touched  the  hearts  of  the  most  harden- 

ed ;  and  the  influence  of  his  example,  by  which  he  enforced  the 
precepts  which  he  delivered  from  the  pulpit,  seemed  irresistible. 
In  530,  Alomer,  the  thirteenth  Bishop  of  that  country,  dying,  St. 
Medard  was  unanimously  chosen  to  fill  the  see,  and  was  conse- 

June  9.] 



crated  by  St.  Remigius,  who  had  baptized  King  Clovis  in  496,  and 
was  then  exceeding  old.  Our  Saint's  new  dignity  did  not  make 
him  abate  any  thing  of  his  austerities,  and,  though  at  that  time 
seventy-two  years  old,  he  thought  himself  obliged  to  redouble  his 
labors.  Though  his  diocese  was  very  wide,  it  seemed  not  to  suf- 
fice for  his  zeal,  which  could  not  be  confined  ;  wherever  he  saw  the 
opportunity  of  advancing  the  honor  of  God,  and  of  abolishing  the 
remains  of  idolatry,  he  overcame  all  obstacles,  and  by  his  zealous 
labors  and  miracles  the  rays  of  the  Gospel  dispelled  the  mists  of 
idolatry  throughout  the  whole  extent  of  his  diocese.  What  ren- 
dered this  task  more  difficult  and  perilous  was  the  savage  and 
fierce  disposition  of  the  ancient  inhabitants  of  Flanders,  who  were 
the  most  barbarous  of  all  the  nations  of  the  Gauls  and  Franks. 
Our  Saint,  having  completed  this  great  work  in  Flanders,  returned 
to  Noyon,  where  he  shortly  after  fell  sick,  and  soon  rested  from 
his  labors  at  an  advanced  age,  in  545.  The  whole  kingdom  la- 
mented his  death  as  the  loss  of  their  common  father  and  pro- 
tector. His  body  was  buried  in  his  own  cathedral,  but  the  many 
miracles  wrought  at  his  tomb  so  moved  King  Clotaire  that  he 
translated  the  precious  remains  to  Soissons. 

Reflection. — The  Church  takes  delight  in  styling  her  founder 
"  The  amiable  Jesus,"  and  He  likewise  says  of  Himself,  "  I  am 
meek  and  humble  of  heart." 


HESE  two  martyrs  were  brothers,  and  lived  in  Rome,  to- 
ward the  latter  part  of  the  third  century,  for  many  years, 
mutually  encouraging  each  other  in  the  practice  of  all 
good  works.  They  seemed  to  possess  nothing  but  for  the  poor, 
and  often  spent  both  nights  and  days  with  the  confessors  in 
their  dungeons,  or  at  the  places  of  their  torments  and  execution. 
Some  they  encouraged  to  perseverance,  others,  who  had  fallen, 
they  raised  again,  and  they  made  themselves  the  servants  of  all  in 
Christ,  that  all  might  attain  to  salvation  through  Him.  Though 
their  zeal  was  most  remarkable,  they  had  escaped  the  dangers  of 
many  bloody  persecutions,  and  were  grown  old  in  the  heroic  ex- 
ercises of  virtue,  when  it  pleased  God  to  crown  their  labors  with 
a  glorious  martyrdom.  The  pagans  raised  so  great  an  outcry 
against  them  that  they  were  both  apprehended  and  put  in  chains. 
They  were  inhumanly  scourged,  and  then  sent  to  a  town  twelve 



[June  9. 

miles  from  Rome,  to  be  farther  chastised,  as  avowed  enemies  to 
the  gods.  There  they  were  cruelly  tortured,  first  both  together, 
afterward  separately.  But  the  grace  of  God  strengthened  them, 
and  they  were  at  length  both  beheaded  on  the  9th  of  June. 

Reflection. — A  soul  which  truly  loves  God  regards  all  the 
things  of  this  world  as  nothing.  The  loss  of  goods,  the  disgrace 
of  the  world,  torments,  sickness,  and  other  afflictions  are  bitter  to 
the  senses,  but  appear  light  to  him  that  loves.  If  we  cannot  bear 
our  trials  with  patience  and  silence,  it  is  because  we  love  God 
only  in  words.  "  One  who  is  slothful  and  lukewarm  complains  of 
every  thing,  and  calls  the  lightest  precepts  hard,"  says  Thomas  a 


T.  COLUMBA,  the  apostle  of  the  Picts,  was  born  of  a  noble 
family,  at  Gartan,  in  the  county  of  Tyrconnel,  a.d.  521. 
From  early  childhood  he  gave  himself  to  God.  In  all  his 
labors — and  they  were  many — his  chief  thought  was  heaven  and 
how  he  should  secure  the  way  thither.  The  result  was  that  he  lay 
on  the  bare  floor,  with  a  stone  for  his  pillow,  and  fasted  all  the 

June  9.] 



year  round;  yet  the  sweetness  of  his  countenance  told  of  the  holy 
soul's  interior  serenity.  Though  austere,  he  was  not  morose;  and, 
often  as  he  longed  to  die,  he  was  untiring  in  good  works  through- 
out his  life.  After  he  had  been  made  abbot,  his  zeal  offended  King 
Dermot ;  and  in  565  the  Saint  departed  for  Scotland,  where  he 
founded  a  hundred  religious  houses  and  converted  the  Picts,  who, 
in  gratitude,  gave  him  the  island  of  Iona.  There  St.  Columba 
founded  his  celebrated  monastery,  the  school  of  apostolic  mis- 
sionaries and  martyrs,  and  for  centuries  the  last  resting-place  of 
Saints  and  kings.  Four  years  before  his  death,  our  Saint  had 
a  vision  of  angels,  who  told  him  that  the  day  of  his  death  had 
been  deferred  four  years,  in  answer  to  the  prayers  of  his  children ; 
whereat  the  Saint  wept  bitterly,  and  cried  out,  "  Woe  is  me  that 
my  sojourning  is  prolonged!"  for  he  desired  above  all  things  to 
reach  his  true  home.  How  different  is  the  conduct  of  most  men, 
who  dread  death  above  every  thing,  instead  of  wishing  "  to  be 
dissolved,  and  to  be  with  Christ"!  On  the  day  of  his  peaceful 
death,  in  the  seventy-seventh  year  of  his  age,  surrounded  in  choir 
by  his  spiritual  children,  the  9th  June,  a.d.  597,  he  said  to  his 
disciple  Diermit,  "  This  day  is  called  the  Sabbath,  that  is,  the  day 
of  rest,  and  such  will  it  truly  be  to  me ;  for  it  will  put  an  end  to 
my  labors."  Then,  kneeling  before  the  altar,  he  received  the 
Viaticum,   and  sweetly   slept  in  the   Lord.     His  relics  were 



[June  io. 

carried  to  Down  and  laid  in  the  same  shrine  with  the  bodies  of 
St.  Patrick  and  St.  Brigid. 

Reflection. — The  thought  of  the  world  to  come  will  always 
make  us  happy,  and  yet  strict  with  ourselves  in  all  our  duties 
The  more  perfect  we  become,  the  sooner  shall  we  behold  that  for 
which  St.  Columba  sighed. 


T.  MARGARET'S  name  signifies  "pearl;"  "  a  fitting  name," 
says  Theodoric,  her  confessor  and  her  first  biographer,  "  for 
one  such  as  she."    Her  soul  was  like  a  precious  pearl.  A 
life  spent  amidst  the  luxury  of  a  royal  court  never  dimmed  its 

lustre,  or  stole  it  away  from  Him  who  had  bought  it  with  His 
blood.  She  was  the  granddaughter  of  an  English  king;  and  in 
1070  she  became  the  bride  of  Malcolm,  and  reigned  Queen  of 
Scotland  till  her  death  in  1093.  How  did  she  become  a  Saint  in  a 
position  where  sanctity  is  so  difficult  ?  First,  she  burned  with  zeal 
for  the  house  of  God.  She  built  churches  and  monasteries ;  she 
busied  herself  in  making  vestments ;  she  could  not  rest  till  she 
saw  the  laws  of  God  and  His  Church  observed  throughout  her 
realm.   Next,  amidst  a  thousand  cares,  she  found  time  to  converse 

June  i  I.] 



with  God — ordering  her  piety  with  such  sweetness  and  discretion 
that  she  won  her  husband  to  sanctity  like  her  own.  He  used  to 
rise  with  her  at  night  for  prayer;  he  loved  to  kiss  the  holy  books 
she  used,  and  sometimes  he  would  steal  them  away,  and  bring  them 
back  to  his  wife  covered  with  jewels.  Lastly,  with  virtues  so 
great,  she  wept  constantly  over  her  sins,  and  begged  her  confessor 
to  correct  her  faults.  St.  Margaret  did  not  neglect  her  duties  in 
the  world  because  she  was  not  of  it.  Never  was  a  better  mother. 
She  spared  no  pains  in  the  education  of  her  eight  children,  and 
their  sanctity  was  the  fruit  of  her  prudence  and  her  zeal.  Never 
was  a  better  queen.  She  was  the  most  trusted  counsellor  of  her 
husband,  and  she  labored  for  the  material  improvement  of  the 
country.  But,  in  the  midst  of  the  world's  pleasures,  she  sighed 
for  the  better  country,  and  accepted  death  as  a  release.  On  her 
deathbed  she  received  the  news  that  her  husband  and  her  eldest 
son  were  slain  in  battle.  She  thanked  God,  who  had  sent  this 
last  affliction  as  a  penance  for  her  sins.  After  receiving  Holy 
Viaticum,  she  was  repeating  the  prayer  from  the  Missal,  "  O  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  who  by  Thy  death  didst  give  life  to  the  world,  deliver 
me."  At  the  words  "  deliver  me,"  says  her  biographer,  she  took 
her  departure  to  Christ,  the  Author  of  true  liberty. 

Reflection. — All  perfection  consists  in  keeping  a  guard  upon 
the  heart.  Wherever  we  are,  we  can  make  a  solitude  in  our  hearts, 
detach  ourselves  from  the  world,  and  converse  familiarly  with  God. 
Let  us  take  St.  Margaret  for  our  example  and  encouragement. 


E  read  that  in  the  first  days  of  the  Church,  "  the  multitude 
of  believers  had  but  one  heart  and  one  soul;  neither  did 
any  one  say  that  aught  of  the  things  which  he  possessed 
was  his  own."  Of  this  fervent  company,  one  only  is  singled  out 
by  name,  Joseph,  a  rich  Levite,  from  Cyprus.  "  He  having  land 
sold  it,  and  brought  the  price  and  laid  it  at  the  feet  of  the 
Apostles."  They  now  gave  him  a  new  name,  Barnabas,  the  son  of 
consolation.  "  He  was  a  good  man,  full  of  the  Holy  Ghost  and 
of  faith,"  and  was  soon  chosen  for  an  important  mission  to  the 
rapidly-growing  Church  of  Antioch.  Here  he  perceived  the  great 
work  which  was  to  be  done  among  the  Greeks,  so  hastened  to  fetch 
St.  Paul  from  his  retirement  at  Tarsus.  It  was  at  Antioch  that  the 
two  Saints  were  called  to  the  apostolate  of  the  Gentiles,  ar  d  hence 

268  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [June  12. 

they  set  out  together  to  Cyprus  and  the  cities  of  Asia  Minor. 
Their  preaching  struck  men  with  amazement,  and  some  cried  out, 
"The  gods  are  come  down  to  us  in  the  likeness  of  men"  calling 
Paul  Mercury,  and  Barnabas  Jupiter.  The  Saints  travelled  to- 
gether to  the  Council  of  Jerusalem  but  shortly  after  this  they 
parted.  When  Agabus  prophesied  a  great  famine,  Barnabas,  no 
longer  rich,  was  chosen  by  the  faithful  at  Antioch  as  most  fit  to 
bear,  with  St.  Paul,  their  generous  offerings  to  the  Church  of  Je- 
rusalem. The  gentle  Barnabas,  keeping  with  him  John,  surnamed 
Mark,  whom  St.  Paul  distrusted,  betook  himself  to  Cyprus,  where 
the  sacred  history  leaves  him ;  and  here,  at  a  later  period,  he  won 
his  martyr's  crown. 

Reflection. — St.  Barnabas's  life  is  full  of  suggestions  to  us 
who  live  in  days  when  once  more  the  abundant  alms  of  the  faith- 
ful are  sorely  needed  by  the  whole  Church,  from  the  Sovereign 
Pontiff  to  the  poor  children  in  our  streets. 


T.  JOHN  was  born  at  St.  Fagondez,  in  Spain.    At  an  early 
age  he  held  several  benefices  in  the  diocese  of  Burgos, 
till  the  reproaches  of  his  conscience  forced  him  to  resign 
them  all  except  one  chapel,  where  he  said  Mass  daily,  preached, 

June  12.] 



and  catechised.  After  this  he  studied  theology  at  Salamanca,  and 
then  labored  for  some  time  as  a  most  devoted  missionary  priest. 
Ultimately  he  became  a  hermit  of  the  Augustinian  Order,  in  the 
same  city.  There  his  life  was  marked  by  a  singular  devotion  to 
the  Holy  Mass.  Each  night  after  Matins  he  remained  in  prayer 
till  the  hour  of  celebration,  when  he  offered  the  Adorable  Sacrifice 
with  the  most  tender  piety,  often  enjoying  the  sight  of  Jesus  in 
glory,  and  holding  sweet  colloquies  with  Him.  The  power  of  his 
personal  holiness  was  seen  in  his  preaching,  which  produced  a 
complete  reformation  in  Salamanca.  He  had  a  special  gift  of 
reconciling  differences,  and  was  enabled  to  put  an  end  to  the 
quarrels  and  feuds  among  noblemen,  at  that  period  very  common 
and  fatal.  The  boldness  shown  by  St.  John  in  reproving  vice  en- 
dangered his  life.  A  powerful  noble,  having  been  corrected  by 
the  Saint  for  oppressing  his  vassals,  sent  two  assassins  to  slay  him. 
The  holiness  of  the  Saint's  aspect,  however,  caused  by  that  peace 
which  continually  reigned  in  his  soul,  struck  such  awe  into  their 
minds  that  they  could  not  execute  their  purpose,  but  humbly  be- 
sought his  forgiveness.    And  the  nobleman  himself,  falling  sick, 

was  brought  to  repentance,  and  recovered  his  health  by  the 
prayers  of  the  Saint  whom  he  had  endeavored  to  murder.  He  was 
also  most  zealous  in  denouncing  those  hideous  vices  which  are  a 
fruitful  source  of  strife,  and  it  was  in  defence  of  holy  purity  that 



[June  13. 

he  met  his  death.  A  lady  of  noble  birth  but  evil  life,  whose  com- 
panion in  sin  St.  John  had  converted,  contrived  to  administer  a 
fatal  poison  to  the  Saint.  After  several  months  of  terrible  suffer- 
ing, borne  with  unvarying  patience,  St.  John  went  to  his  reward 
on  June  nth,  1479. 

Reflection. — All  men  desire  peace,  but  those  alone  enjoy  it 
who,  like  St.  John,  are  completely  dead  to  themselves,  and  love 
to  bear  all  things  for  Christ. 

N  1 22 1  St.  Francis  held  a  general  chapter  at  Assisi ;  when  the 

others  dispersed,  there  lingered  behind,  unknown  and  neglect- 

ed, a  poor  Portuguese  friar,  resolved  to  ask  for  and  to  refuse 
nothing.  Nine  months  later,  Fra  Antonio  rose  under  obedience 
to  preach  to  the  religious  assembled  at  Forli,  when,  as  the  dis- 
course proceeded,  "  the  Hammer  of  Heretics,"  "  the  Ark  of  the 
Testament,"  "  the  eldest  son  of  St.  Francis,"  stood  revealed  in  all 
his  sanctity,  learning,  and  eloquence  before  his  rapt  and  astonished 
brethren.  Devoted  from  earliest  youth  to  prayer  and  study  among 
the  canons  regular,  Ferdinand  de  Bulloens,  as  his  name  was  in  the 
world,  had  been  stirred,  by  the  spirit  and  example  of  the  first  five 
Franciscan  martyrs,  to  put  on  their  habit  and  preach  the  faith  to 
the  Moors  in  Africa.  Denied  a  martyr's  palm,  and  enfeebled  by 
sickness,  at  the  age  of  twenty-seven  he  was  taking  silent  but 
merciless  revenge  upon  himself  in  the  humblest  offices  of  his 
community.  From  this  obscurity  he  was  now  called  forth,  and 
for  nine  years  France,  Italy,  and  Sicily  heard  his  voice,  saw  his 
miracles,  and  men's  hearts  turned  to  God.  One  night,  when  St. 
Antony  was  staying  with  a  friend  in  the  city  of  Padua,  his  host 
saw  brilliant  rays  streaming  under  the  door  of  the  Saint's  room, 
and  on  looking  through  the  keyhole,  he  beheld  a  little  Child  of 
marvellous  beauty  standing  upon  a  book  which  lay  open  upon  the 
table,  and  clinging  with  both  arms  round  Antony's  neck.  With 
an  ineffable  sweetness  he  watched  the  tender  caresses  of  the  Saint 
and  his  wondrous  Visitor.  At  last  the  Child  vanished,  and  Fra 
Antonio,  opening  the  door,  charged  his  friend,  by  the  love  of  Him 
whom  he  had  seen,  to  "tell  the  vision  to  no  man"  as  long  as  he 
was  alive.  Suddenly,  in  123 1,  our  Saint's  brief  apostolate  was 
closed,  and  the  voices  of  children  were  heard  crying  along  the 
streets  of  Padua,  "  Our  father,  St.  Antony,  is  dead."    The  follow- 


June  14.] 



ing  year,  the  church-bells  of  Lisbon  rang  without  ringers,  while 
at  Rome  one  of  its  sons  was  inscribed  among  the  Saints  of  God. 

Reflection. — Let  us  love  to  pray  and  labor  unseen,  and  cher- 
ish in  the  secret  of  our  hearts  the  graces  of  God  and  the  growth 
of  our  immortal  souls.  Like  St.  Antony,  let  us  attend  to  this,  and 
leave  the  rest  to  God. 


T.  BASIL  was  born  in  Asia  Minor.  Two  of  his  brothers 
became  bishops,  and,  together  with  his  mother  and  sister, 
are  honored  as  Saints.  He  studied  with  great  success  at 
Athens,  where  he  formed  with  St.  Gregory  Nazianzen  the  most 
tender  friendship.  He  then  taught  oratory;  but  dreading  the 
honors  of  the  world,  he  gave  up  all,  and  became  the  father  of  the 
monastic  life  in  the  East.  The  Arian  heretics,  supported  by  the 
court,  were  then  persecuting  the  Church;  and  Basil  was  sum- 
moned from  his  retirement  by  his  bishop  to  give  aid  against  them. 
His  energy  and  zeal  soon  mitigated  the  disorders  of  the  Church, 
and  his  solid  and  eloquent  words  silenced  the  heretics.  On  the 
death  of  Eusebius,  he  was  chosen  Bishop  of  Csesarea.  His  com- 
manding character,  his  firmness  and  energy,  his  learning  and  ela* 



[June  14. 

quence,  and  not  less  his  humility  and  the  exceeding  austerity  of 
his  life,  made  him  a  model  for  bishops.  When  St.  Basil  was 
required  to  admit  the  Arians  to  Communion,  the  prefect,  rinding 
that  soft  words  had  no  effect,  said  to  him,  "  Are  you  mad,  that  you 
resist  the  will  before  which  the  whole  world  bows  ?  Do  you  not 
dread  the  wrath  of  the  emperor,  nor  exile,  nor  death?"  "No," 
said  Basil  calmly  ;  "  he  who  has  nothing  to  lose  need  not  dread 
loss  of  goods  ;  you  cannot  exile  me,  for  the  whole  earth  is  my 
home;  as  for  death,  it  would  be  the  greatest  kindness  you  could 
bestow  upon  me;  torments  cannot  harm  me  :  one  blow  would  end 

my  frail  life  and  my  sufferings  together."  "  Never,"  said  the  pre- 
fect, "  has  any  one  dared  to  address  me  thus."  "  Perhaps,"  sug- 
gested Basil,  "  you  never  before  measured  your  strength  with  a 
Christian  bishop."  The  emperor  desisted  from  his  commands.  St. 
Basil's  whole  life  was  one  of  suffering.  He  lived  amidst  jealousies 
and  misunderstandings  and  seeming  disappointments.  But  he 
sowed  the  seed  which  bore  goodly  fruit  in  the  next  generation, 
and  was  God's  instrument  in  beating  back  the  Arian  and  other 
heretics  in  the  East,  and  restoring  the  spirit  of  discipline  and  fer- 
vor in  the  Church.  He  died  in  379,  and  is  venerated  as  a  Doctor 
of  the  Church. 

Reflection. — "  Fear  God,"  says  the  Imitation  of  Christ,  "  and 
thou  shalt  have  no  need  of  being  afraid  of  any  man." 

June  15.] 




ITUS  was  a  child  nobly  born,  who  had  the  happiness  to  be 
instructed  in  the  faith,  and  inspired  with  the  most  perfect 
sentiments  of  his  religion,  by  his  Christian  nurse,  named 
Crescentia,  and  her  faithful  husband,  Modestus.  His  father,  Hylas, 
was  extremely  incensed  when  he  discovered  the  child's  invincible 
aversion  to  idolatry ;  and  finding  him  not  to  be  overcome  by 
stripes  and  such  like  chastisements,  he  delivered  him  up  to  Vale- 
rian, the  governor,  who  in  vain  tried  all  his  arts  to  work  him  into 

compliance  with  his  father's  will  and  the  emperor's  edicts.  He 
escaped  out  of  their  hands,  and,  together  with  Crescentia  and  Mo- 
destus, fled  into  Italy.  They  there  met  with  the  crown  of  martyr- 
dom in  Lucania,  in  the  persecution  of  Diocletian.  The  heroic 
spirit  of  martyrdom  which  we  admire  in  St.  Vitus  was  owing  to 
the  early  impressions  of  piety  which  he  received  from  the  lessons 
and  example  of  a  virtuous  nurse.  Of  such  infinite  importance  is 
the  choice  of  virtuous  preceptors,  nurses,  and  servants  about 

Reflection. — What  happiness  for  an  infant  to  be  formed 
naturally  to  all  virtue,  and  for  the  spirit  of  simplicity,  meekness, 
goodness,  and  piety  to  be  moulded  in  its  tender  frame  !   Such  a 



[June  16. 

foundation  being  well  laid,  further  graces  are  abundantly  com- 
municated, and  a  soul  improves  daily  these  seeds,  and  rises  to  the 
height  of  Christian  virtue  often  without  experiencing  severe  con- 
flicts of  the  passions. 


T.  JOHN  FRANCIS  REGIS  was  born  in  Languedoc,  a.d. 
1597.    From  his  tenderest  years  he  showed  evidences  of  un- 
common sanctity  by  his  innocence  of  life,  modesty,  and  love 
of  prayer.    At  the  age  of  eighteen  he  entered  the  Society  of  Jesus. 

As  soon  as  his  studies  were  over,  he  gave  himself  entirely  to  the 
salvation  of  souls.  The  winter  he  spent  in  country  missions, 
principally  in  mountainous  districts ;  and  in  spite  of  the  rigor  of 
the  weather  and  the  ignorance  and  roughness  of  the  inhabitants, 
he  labored  with  such  success  that  he  gained  innumerable  souls  to 
God  both  from  heresy  and  from  a  bad  life.  The  summer  he  gave 
to  the  towns.  There  his  time  was  taken  up  in  visiting  hospitals 
and  prisons,  in  preaching  and  instructing,  and  in  assisting  all  who 
in  any  way  stood  in  need  of  his  services.  In  his  works  of  mercy, 
God  often  helped  him  by  miracles.  In  November,  1637,  the  Saint 
set  out  for  his  second  mission  at  Marthes.  His  road  lay  across 
valleys  filled  with  snow  and  over  mountains  frozen  and  precipi- 

June  17.] 


tous.  In  climbing  one  of  the  highest,  a  bush  to  which  he  was 
clinging  gave  way,  and  he  broke  his  leg  in  the  fall.  By  the  help 
of  his  companion  he  accomplished  the  remaining  six  miles,  and 
then,  instead  of  seeing  a  surgeon,  insisted  on  being  taken  straight 
to  the  confessional.  There,  after  several  hours,  the  curate  of  the 
parish  found  him  still  seated,  and  when  his  leg  was  examined  the 
fracture  was  found  to  be  miraculously  healed.  He  was  so  in- 
flamed with  the  love  of  God  that  he  seemed  to  breathe,  think, 
speak  of  that  alone,  and  he  offered  up  the  Holy  Sacrifice  with  such 
attention  and  fervor  that  those  who  assisted  at  it  could  not  but 
feel  something  of  the  fire  with  which  he  burned.  After  twelve 
years  of  unceasing  labor,  he  rendered  his  pure  and  innocent  soul 
to  his  Creator,  at  the  age  of  forty-four. 

Reflection. — When  St.  John  Francis  was  struck  in  the  face  by 
a  sinner  whom  he  was  reproving,  he  replied,  "  If  you  only  knew 
me,  you  would  give  me  much  more  than  that."  His  meekness 
converted  the  man,  and  it  is  in  this  spirit  that  he  teaches  us  to  win 
souls  to  God.  How  much  might  we  do  if  we  could  forget  our 
own  wants  in  remembering  those  of  others,  and  put  our  trust  in 


T.  AVITUS  was  a  native  of  Orleans,  and,  retiring  into  Au- 
vergne,  took  the  monastic  habit,  together  with  St.  Calais,  in 
the  Abbey  of  Menat,  at  that  time  very  small,  though  after- 
ward enriched  by  Queen  Brunehault,  and  by  St.  Boner,  Bishop 
of  Clermont.  The  two  Saints  soon  after  returned  to  Miscy,  a 
famous  abbey  situated  a  league  and  a  half  below  Orleans.  It  was 
founded  toward  the  end  of  the  reign  of  Clovis  I.  by  St.  Euspicius, 
a  holy  priest,  honored  on  the  14th  of  June,  and  his  nephew  St. 
Maximin  or  Mesmin,  whose  name  this  monastery,  which  is  now 
of  the  Cistercian  Order,  bears.  Many  call  St.  Maximin  the  first 
abbot,  others  St.  Euspicius  the  first,  St.  Maximin-  the  second,  and 
St.  Avitus  the  third.  But  our  Saint  and  St.  Calais  made  not  a 
long  stay  at  Miscy,  though  St.  Maximin  gave  them  a  gracious  re- 
ception. In  quest  of  a  closer  retirement,  St.  Avitus,  who  had  suc- 
ceeded St.  Maximin,  soon  after  resigned  the  abbacy,  and  with  St 
Calais  lived  a  recluse  in  the  territory  now  called  Dunois,  on  the 
frontiers  of  La  Perche.  Others  joining  them,  St.  Calais  retired  into 
a  forest  in  Maine,  and  King  Clothaire  built  a  church  and  monas- 



[June  18 

tery  for  St.  Avitus  and  "his  companions.  .  This  is  at  present  a 
Benedictine  nunnery,  called  St.  Avy  of  Chateaudun,  and  is  situ- 
ated on  the  Loire,  at  the  foot  of  the  hill  on  which'  the  town  of 
Chateaudun  is  built,  in  the  diocese  of  Chartres.  Three  famous 
monks,  Leobin,  afterward  Bishop  of  Chartres,  Euphronius,  and 
Rusticus,  attended  our  Saint  to  his  happy  death,  which  happened 
about  the  year  530.  His  body  was  carried  to  Orleans,  and  buried 
with  great  pomp  in  that  city. 


ARCUS  and  Marcellianus  were  twin  brothers  of  an  illus- 
trious family  in  Rome,  who  had  been  converted  to  the 
faith  in  their  youth  and  were  honorably  married.  Dio- 
cletian ascending  the  imperial  throne  in  284,  the  heathens  raised 
persecutions.  These  martyrs  were  thrown  into  prison,  and  con- 
demned to  be  beheaded.  Their  friends  obtained  a  respite  of  the 
execution  for  thirty  days,  that  they  might  prevail  on  them  to 
worship  the  false  gods.  Tranquillinus  and  Martia,  their  afflicted 
heathen  parents,  in  company  with  their  sons'  own  wives  and  their 
little  babes,  endeavored  to  move  them  by  the  most  tender  en- 
treaties and  tears.  St.  Sebastian,  an  officer  of  the  emperor's 
household,  coming  to  Rome  soon  after  their  commitment,  daily 

June  19.] 



visited  and  encouraged  them.  The  issue  of  the  conferences  was 
the  happy  conversion  of  the  father,  mother,  and  wives,  also  of 
Nicostratus,  the  public  register,  and  soon  after  of  Chromatius, 
the  judge,  who  set  the  Saints  at  liberty,  and,  abdicating  the  magis- 
tracy, retired  into  the  country.  Marcus  and  Marcellianus  were 
hid  by  a  Christian  officer  of  the  household,  in  his  apartments  in 
the  palace ;  but  they  were  betrayed  by  an  apostate,  and  retaken. 
Fabian,  who  had  succeeded  Chromatius,  condemned  them  to  be 
bound  to  two  pillars,  with  their  feet  nailed  to  the  same.  In  this 
posture  they  remained  a  day  and  a  night,  and  on  the  following: 
day  were  stabbed  with  lances. 

Reflection. — We  know  not  what  we  are  till  we  have  been 
tried.  It  costs  nothing  to  say  we  love  God  above  all  things,  and 
to  show  the  courage  of  martyrs  at  a  distance  from  the  danger ; 
but  that  love  is  sincere  which  has  stood  the  proof.  "  Persecution 
shows  who  is  a  hireling,  and  who  a  true  pastor,"  says  St.  Bernard. 


ULIANA  FALCONIERI  was  born,  in  answer  to  prayer, 
a.d.  1270.    Her  father  built  the  splendid  church  of  the  An- 
nunziata  in  Florence,  while  her  uncle,  Blessed  Alexius, 
became  one  of  the  founders  of  the  Servite  Order.   Under  his  care, 



[June  19. 

Juliana  grew  up,  as  he  said,  more  like  an  angel  than  a  human 
being.  Such  was  her  modesty  that  she  never  used  a  mirror  or 
gazed  upon  the  face  of  a  man  during  her  whole  life.  The  mere 
mention  of  sin  made  her  shudder  and  tremble,  and  once  hearing 
a  scandal  related  she  fell  into  a  dead  swoon.  Her  devotion  to 
the  sorrows  of  our  Lady  drew  her  to  the  Servants  of  Mary ;  and, 
at  the  age  of  fourteen,  she  refused  an  offer  of  marriage,  and  re- 
ceived the  habit  from  St.  Philip  Benizi  himself.  Her  sanctity 
attracted  many  novices,  for  whose  direction  she  was  bidden  to 
draw  up  a  rule,  and  thus  with  reluctance  she  became  foundress  of 

the  "  Mantellate."  She  was  with  her  children  as  their  servant 
rather  than  their  mistress,  while  outside  her  convent  she  led  a  life 
of  apostolic  charity,  converting  sinners,  reconciling  enemies,  and 
healing  the  sick  by  sucking  with  her  own  lips  their  ulcerous 
sores.  She  was  sometimes  rapt  for  whole  days  in  ecstasy,  and 
her  prayers  saved  the  Servite  Order  when  it  was  in  danger  of 
being  suppressed.  She  was  visited  in  her  last  hour  by  angels  in 
the  form  of  white  doves,  and  Jesus  Himself,  as  a  beautiful  child, 
crowned  her  with  a  garland  of  flowers.  She  wasted  away  through 
;a  disease  of  the  stomach,  which  prevented  her  taking  food.  She 
bore  her  silent  agony  with  constant  cheerfulness,  grieving  only 
for  the  privation  of  Holy  Communion.  At  last,  when,  in  her 
seventieth  year,  she  had  sunk  to  the  point  of  death,  she  begged  to 

June  20.] 



be  allowed  once  more  to  see  and  adore  the  Blessed  Sacrament. 
It  was  brought  to  her  cell,  and  reverently  laid  on  a  corporal, 
which  was  placed  over  her  heart.  At  this  moment  she  expired, 
and  the  Sacred  Host  disappeared.  After  her  death  the  form  of 
the  Host  was  found  stamped  upon  her  heart  in  the  exact  spot 
over  which  the  Blessed  Sacrament  had  been  placed.  Juliana  died 
a.d.  1340. 

Reflection.— "  Meditate  often,"  says  St.  Paul  of  the  Cross, 
"  on  the  sorrows  of  the  Holy  Mother,  sorrows  inseparable  from 
those  of  her  beloved  Son.  If  you  seek  the  Cross,  there  you  will 
find  the  Mother;  and  where  the  Mother  is,  there  also  is  the  Son." 


fILVERIUS  was  son  of  Pope  Hermisdas,  who  had  been  mar- 
ried before  he  entered  the  ministry.    Upon  the  death  of  St. 
Agapetas,  after  a  vacancy  of  forty-seven  days,  Silverius, 
then  subdeacon,  was  chosen  Pope,  and  ordained  on  the  8th  of 
June,  536. 

Theodora,  the  empress  of  Justinian,  resolved  to  promote  the 
sect  of  the  Acephali.  She  endeavored  to  win  Silverius  over  to  her 
interest,  and  wrote  to  him,  ordering  that  he  should  acknowledge 
Anthimus  lawful  bishop,  or  repair  in  person  to  Constantinople  and 
re-examine  his  cause  on  the  spot.  Without  the  least  hesitation 
or  delay,  Silverius  returned  her  a  short  answer,  by  which  he  per- 
emptorily gave  her  to  understand  that  he  neither  could  nor  would 
obey  her  unjust  demands  and  betray  the  cause  of  the  Catholic 
faith.  The  empress,  finding  that  she  could  expect  nothing  from 
him,  resolved  to  have  him  deposed.  Vigilius,  archdeacon  of  the 
Roman  Church,  a  man  of  address,  was  then  at  Constantinople. 
To  him  the  empress  made  her  application,  and  finding  him  taken 
by  the  bait  of  ambition,  promised  to  make  him  Pope,  and  to  be- 
stow on  him  seven  hundred  pieces  of  gold,  provided  he  would 
engage  himself  to  condemn  the  Council  of  Chalcedon  and  receive 
to  communion  the  three  deposed  Eutychian  patriarchs,  Anthimus 
of  Constantinople,  Severus  of  Antioch,  and  Theodosius  of  Alexan- 
dria. The  unhappy  Vigilius  having  assented  to  these  conditions, 
the  empress  sent  him  to  Rome,  charged  with  a  letter  to  the  general 
Belisarius,  commanding  him  to  drive  out  Silverius  and  to  contrive 
the  election  of  Vigilius  to  the  pontificate.  Vigilius  urged  the 
general  to  execute  the  project.    The  more  easily  to  carry  out  this 



[June  20. 

project,  the  Pope  was  accused  of  corresponding  with  the  enemy, 
and  a  letter  was  produced,  which  was  pretended  to  have  been 
written  by  him  to  the  king  of  the  Goths,  inviting  him  into  the  city, 
and  promising  to  open  the  gates  to  him.  Silverius  was  banished 
to  Patara,  in  Lycia.  The  bishop  of  that  city  received  the  illustrious 
exile  with  all  possible  marks  of  honor  and  respect;  and  thinking 
himself  bound  to  undertake  his  defence,  repaired  to  Constantino- 
ple, and  spoke  boldly  to  the  emperor,  terrifying  him  with  the  threats 
of  the  divine  judgments  for  the  expulsion  of  a  bishop  of  so  great 

a  see,  telling  him,  "  There  are  many  kings  in  the  world,  but  there 
is  only  one  Pope  over  the  Church  of  the  whole  world."  It  must 
be  observed  that  these  were  the  words  of  an  Oriental  bishop,  and  a 
clear  confession  of  the  supremacy  of  the  Roman  See.  Justinian 
appeared  startled  at  the  atrocity  of  the  proceedings,  and  gave 
orders  that  Silverius  should  be  sent  back  to  Rome,  but  the  ene- 
mies of  the  Pope  contrived  to  prevent  it,  and  he  was  intercepted  on 
his  road  toward  Rome  and  carried  to  a  desert  island,  where  he 
died  on  the  20th  of  June,  538. 

June  21.] 




T.  ALOYSIUS,  the  eldest  son  of  Ferdinand  Gonzaga,  Mar- 
quis of  Castiglione,  was  born  on  the  9th  of  March,  1568. 
The  first  words  he  pronounced  were  the  holy  names  of  Jesus 
and  Mary.  When  he  was  nine  years  of  age  he  made  a  vow  of 
perpetual  virginity,  and  by  a  special  grace  was  ever  exempted 
from  temptations  against  purity.  He  received  his  first  communion 
at  the  hands  of  St.  Charles  Borromeo.  At  an  early  age  he  re- 
solved to  leave  the  world,  and  in  a  vision  was  directed  by  our 

Blessed  Lady  to  join  the  Society  of  Jesus.  The  Saint's  mother 
rejoiced  on  learning  his  determination  to  become  a  religious,  but 
his  father  for  three  years  refused  his  consent.  At  length  St.  Aloy- 
sius  obtained  permission  to  enter  the  novitiate  on  the  25th  of  No- 
vember, 1585.  He  took  his  vows  after  two  years,  and  went  through 
the  ordinary  course  of  philosophy  and  theology.  He  was  wont  to 
say  he  doubted  whether  without  penance  grace  would  continue  to 
make  head  against  nature,  which,  when  not  afflicted  and  chastised, 
tends  gradually  to  relapse  into  its  old  state,  losing  the  habit  of 
suffering  acquired  by  the  labor  of  years.  "  I  am  a  crooked  piece 
of  iron,"  he  said,  ''and  am  come  into  religion  to  be  made  straight 
by  the  hammer  of  mortification  and  penance."  During  his  last 
year  of  theology  a  malignant  fever  broke  out  in  Rome;  the  Saint 
offered  himself  for  the  service  of  the  sick,  and  he  was  accepted  for 



[June  22. 

the  dangerous  duty.  Several  of  the  brothers  caught  the  fever,  and 
Aloysius  was  of  the  number.  He  was  brought  to  the  point  of 
death,  but  recovered,  only  to  fall,  however,  into  slow  fever,  which 
carried  hirn  off  after  three  months.  He  died,  repeating  the  Holy 
Name,  a  little  after  midnight  between  the  20th  and  21st  of  June  on 
the  octave-day  of  Corpus  Christi,  being  rather  more  than  twenty- 
three  years  of  age. 

Reflection. — Cardinal  Bellarmine,  the  Saint's  confessor,  testi- 
fied that  he  had  never  mortally  offended  God.  Yet  he  chastised 
his  body  rigorously,  rose  at  night  to  pray,  and  shed  many  tears  for 
his  sins.  Pray  that,  not  having  followed  his  innocence,  you  may 
yet  imitate  his  penance. 


vTp^AULINUS  was  of  a  family  which  boasted  of  a  long  line  of 
senators,  prefects,  and  consuls.  He  was  educated  with  great 
care,  and  his  genius  and  eloquence,  in  prose  and  verse,  were 
the  admiration  of  St.  Jerome  and  St.  Augustine.  He  had  more 
than  doubled  his  wealth  by  marriage,  and  was  one  of  the  foremost 
men  of  his  time.  Though  he  was  the  chosen  friend  of  Saints,  and 
had  a  great  devotion  to  St.  Felix  of  Nola,  he  was  still  only  a  cate- 
chumen, trying  to  serve  two  masters.  But  God  drew  him  to  Him- 
self along  the  way  of  sorrows  and  trials.  He  received  baptism, 
withdrew  into  Spain  to  be  alone,  and  then,  in  consort  with  his 
holy  wife,  sold  all  their  vast  estates  in  various  parts  of  the  empire, 
distributing  their  proceeds  so  prudently  that  St.  Jerome  says 
East  and  West  were  filled  with  his  alms.  He  was  then  ordained 
priest,  and  retired  to  Nola  in  Campania.  There  he  rebuilt  the 
Church  of  St.  Felix  with  great  magnificence,  and  served  it  night 
and  day,  living  a  life  of  extreme  abstinence  and  toil.  In  409  he 
was  chosen  bishop,  and  for  more  than  thirty  years  so  ruled  as  to 
be  conspicuous  in  an  age  blessed  with  many  great  and  wise 
bishops.  St.  Gregory  the  Great  tells  us  that  when  the  Vandals  of 
Africa  had  made  a  descent  on  Campania,  Paulinus  spent  all  he  had 
in  relieving  the  distress  of  his  people  and  redeeming  them  from 
slavery.  At  last  there  came  a  poor  widow  ;  her  only  son  had  been 
carried  off  by  the  son-in-law  of  the  Vandal  king.  "  Such  as  I  have 
I  give  thee,"  said  the  Saint  to  her;  "  we  will  go  to  Africa,  and  I 
will  give  myself  for  your  son."  Having  overborne  her  resistance, 
they  went,  and  Paulinus  was  accepted  in  place  of  the  widow's  son, 

June  23.] 



and  employed  as  gardener.  After  a  time  the  king  found  out,  by 
divine  interposition,  that  his  son-in-law's  slave  was  the  great 
Bishop  of  Nola.  He  at  once  set  him  free,  granting  him  also  the 
freedom  of  all  the  townsmen  of  Nola  who  were  in  slavery.  One 
who  knew  him  well  says  he  was  meek  as  Moses,  priestlike  as 
Aaron,  innocent  as  Samuel,  tender  as  David,  wise  as  Solomon, 
apostolic  as  Peter,  loving  as  John,  cautious  as  Thomas,  keen-sighted 
as  Stephen,  fervent  as  Apollos.    He  died  a.d.  431. 

Reflection. — "  Go  to  Campania,"  writes  St.  Augustine  ;  "  there 
study  Paulinus,  that  choice  servant  of  God.  With  what  gene- 
rosity, with  what  still  greater  humility,  he  has  flung  from  him  the 
burden  of  this  world's  grandeurs  to  take  on  him  the  yoke  of  Christ, 
and  in  His  service  how  serene  and  unobtrusive  his  life  !" 


ORN  and  brought  up  in  the  fear  of  God — her  mother  and 
three  sisters  are  numbered  among  the  Saints — Etheldreda 
had  but  one  aim  in  life,  to  devote  herself  to  His  service  in 
the  religious  state.  Her  parents,  however,  had  other  views  for 
her,  and,  in  spite  of  her  tears  and  prayers,  she  was  compelled  to  be- 
come the  wife  of  Tonbercht,  a  tributary  of  the  Mercian  king.  She 
lived  with  him  as  a  virgin  for  three  years,  and  at  his  death  retired 



[June  23. 

to  the  isle  of  Ely,  that  she  might  apply  herself  wholly  to  heavenly 
things.  This  happiness  was  but  short-lived ;  for  Egfrid,  the  power- 
ful king  of  Northumbria,  pressed  his  suit  upon  her  with  such 
eagerness  that  she  was  forced  into  a  second  marriage.  Her  life  at 
his  court  was  that  of  an  ascetic  rather  than  a  queen  :  she  lived  with 
him  not  as  a  wife,  but  as  a  sister,  and,  observing  a  scrupulous 
regularity  of  discipline,  devoted  her  time  to  works  of  mercy  and 
love.  After  twelve  years,  she  retired  with  her  husband's  consent 
to  Coldingham  Abbey,  which  was  then  under  the  rule  of  St.  Ebba, 
and  received  the  veil  from  the  hands  of  St.  Wilfrid.  As  soon  as 
Etheldreda  had  left  the  court  of  her  husband,  he  repented  of  having 
consented  to  her  departure,  and  followed  her,  meaning  to  bring 
her  back  by  force.  She  took  refuge  on  a  headland  on  the  coast 
near  Coldingham ;  and  here  a  miracle  took  place,  for  the  waters 
forced  themselves  a  passage  round  the  hill,  barring  the  further  ad- 
vance of  Egfrid.  The  Saint  remained  in  this  island  refuge  for 
seven  days,  till  the  king,  recognizing  the  divine  will,  agreed  to 

leave  her  in  peace.  God,  who  by  a  miracle  confirmed  the  Saint's 
vocation,  will  not  fail  us  if,  with  a  single  heart,  we  elect  for  Him. 
In  672  she  returned  to  Ely,  and  founded  there  a  double  monastery. 
The  nunnery  she  governed  herself,  and  was  by  her  example  a  liv- 
ing rule  of  perfection  to  her  sisters.  Some  time  after  her  death,  in 
679,  her  body  was  found  incorrupt,  and  St.  Bede  records  many 
miracles  worked  by  her  relics. 

June  24.] 



Reflection. — The  soul  cannot  truly  serve  God  while  it  is  in- 
volved in  the  distractions  and  pleasures  of  the  world.  Etheldreda 
knew  this,  and  chose  rather  to  be  a  servant  of  Christ  her  Lord  than 
the  mistress  of  an  earthly  court.  Resolve,  in  whatever  state  you 
are,  to  live  absolutely  detached  from  the  world,  and  to  separate 
yourself  as  much  as  possible  from  it. 


tHE  birth  of  St.  John  was  foretold  by  an  angel  of  the  Lord  to 
his  father,  Zachary,  who  was  offering  incense  in  the  temple. 
It  was  the  office  of  St.  John  to  prepare  the  way  for  Christ,  and 
before  he  was  born  into  the  world  he  began  to  live  for  the  Incar- 
nate God.  Even  in  the  womb  he  knew  the  presence  of  Jesus  and  of 
Mary,  and  he  leaped  with  joy  at  the  glad  coming  of  the  Son  of  Man. 
In  his  youth  he  remained  hidden,  because  He  for  whom  he  waited 

was  hidden  also.  But  before  Christ's  public  life  began,  a  divine 
impulse  led  St.  John  into  the  desert ;  there,  with  locusts  for  his 
food  and  haircloth  on  his  skin,  in  silence  and  in  prayer,  he  chas- 
tened his  own  soul.  Then,  as  crowds  broke  in  upon  his  solitude, 
he  warned  them  to  flee  from  the  wrath  to  come,  and  gave  them  the 
baptism  of  penance,  while  they  confessed  their  sins.  At  last  there 
stood  in  the  crowd  one  whom  St.  John  did  not  know,  till  a  voice 



[June  25. 

within  told  him  that  it  was  his  Lord.  With  the  baptism  of  St.  John, 
Christ  began  His  penance  for  the  sins  of  His  people,  and  St.  John 
saw  the  Holy  Ghost  descend  in  bodily  form  upon  Him.  Then  the 
Saint's  work  was  done.  He  had  but  to  point  his  own  disciples  to 
the  Lamb,  he  had  but  to  decrease  as  Christ  increased.  He  saw  all 
men  leave  him  and  go  after  Christ.  "  I  told  you,"  he  said,  "  that 
I  am  not  the  Christ.  The  friend  of  the  Bridegroom  rejoiceth  be- 
cause of  the  Bridegroom's  voice.  This  my  joy  therefore  is  ful- 
filled." St.  John  had  been  cast  into  the  fortress  of  Machserus  by  a 
worthless  tyrant  whose  crimes  he  had  rebuked,  and  he  was  to  re- 
main there  till  he  was  beheaded,  at  the  will  of  a  girl  who  danced 
before  this  wretched  king.  In  this  time  of  despair,  if  St.  John 
could  have  known  despair,  some  of  his  old  disciples  visited  him. 
St.  John  did  not  speak  to  them  of  himself,  but  he  sent  them  to 
Christ,  that  they  might  see  the  proofs  of  His  mission.  Then 
the  Eternal  Truth  pronounced  the  panegyric  of  the  Saint  who  had 
lived  and  breathed  for  Him  alone.  "  Verily  I  say  unto  you,  Among 
them  that  are  born  of  women  there  hath  not  risen  a  greater  than 
John  the  Baptist." 

Reflection. — St.  John  was  great  before  God  because  he  forgot 
himself  and  lived  for  Jesus  Christ,  who  is  the  source  of  all  great- 
ness. Remember  that  you  are  nothing ;  your  own  will  and  your 
own  desires  can  only  lead  to  misery  and  sin.  Therefore  sacrifice 
every  day  some  one  of  your  natural  inclinations  to  the  Sacred 
Heart  of  our  Lord,  and  learn  little  by  little  to  lose  yourself  in 


fT.  PROSPER  was  born  at  Aquitaine,  in  the  year  403.  His 
works  show  that  in  his  youth  he  had  happily  applied  himself 
to  all  the  branches  both  of  polite  and  sacred  learning.  On 
account  of  the  purity  and  sanctity  of  his  manners,  he  is  called  by 
those  of  his  age  a  holy  and  venerable  man.  Our  Saint  does  not 
appear  to  have  been  any  more  than  a  layman  ;  but  being  of  great 
virtue,  and  of  extraordinary  talents  and  learning,  he  wrote  several 
works  in  which  he  ably  refuted  the  errors  of  heresy.  St.  Leo  the 
Great,  being  chosen  Pope  in  440,  invited  St.  Prosper  to  Rome, 
made  him  his  secretary,  and  employed  him  in  the  most  important 
affairs  of  the  Church.    Our  Saint  crushed  the  Pelagian  heresy, 


UNE  25.] 



which  began  again  to  raise  its  head  in  that  capital,  and  its  final 
overthrow  is  said  to  be  due  to  his  zeal,  learning,  and  unwearied 
endeavors.  The  date  of  his  death  is  uncertain,  but  he  was  still 
living  in  463. 

St.  William,  having  lost  his  father  and  mother  in  his  infancy, 
wTas  brought  up  by  his  friends  in  great  sentiments  of  piety;  and 
at  fifteen  years  of  age,  out  of  an  earnest  desire  to  lead  a  peniten- 
tial life,  he  left  Piedmont,  his  native  country,  made  an  austere  pil- 
grimage to  St.  James's  in  Galicia,  and  afterward  retired  into  the 
kingdom  of  Naples,  where  he  chose  for  his  abode  a  desert  moun- 
tain, and  lived  in  perpetual  contemplation  and  the  exercises  of 
most  rigorous  penitential  austerities.  Finding  himself  discovered 
and  his  contemplation  interrupted,  he  changed  his  habitation  and 
settled  in  a  place  called  Monte-Vergine,  situated  between  Nola  and 
Benevento,  in  the  same  kingdom ;  but  his  reputation  followed 
him,  and  he  was  obliged  by  two  neighboring  priests  to  permit  cer- 
tain fervent  persons  to  live  with  him  and  to  imitate  his  ascetic 
practices.  Thus,  in  11 19,  was  laid  the  foundation  of  the  religious 
congregation  called  de  Monte-Vergine.  The  Saint  died  on  the  25th 
of  June,  1142. 



[June  26. 


fHESE  two  Saints  were  both  officers  in  the  army  under  Julian 
the  Apostate,  and  received  the  crown  of  martyrdom,  probably 
in  362.  They  glorified  God  by  a  double  victory:  they  de- 
spised the  honors  of  the  world,  and  triumphed  over  its  threats 
and  torments.  They  saw  many  wicked  men  prosper  in  their  im- 
piety, but  were  not  dazzled  by  their  example.  They  considered 
that  worldly  prosperity  which  attends  impunity  in  sin  is  the  most 

dreadful  of  all  judgments ;  and  how  false  and  short-lived  was  this 
glittering  prosperity  of  Julian,  who  in  a  moment  fell  into  the  pit 
which  he  himself  had  dug !  But  the  martyrs,  by  the  momentary 
labor  of  their  conflict,  purchased  an  immense  weight  of  never- 
fading  glory ;  their  torments  were,  by  their  heroic  patience  and 
invincible  virtue  and  fidelity,  a  spectacle  worthy  of  God,  who 
looked  down  upon  them  from  the  throne  of  His  glory,  and  held 
His  arm  stretched  out  to  strengthen  them,  and  to  put  on  their 
heads  immortal  crowns  in  the  happy  moment  of  their  victory. 

Reflection. — The  Saints  always  accounted  that  they  had  done 
nothing  for  Christ  so  long  as  they  had  not  resisted  to  blood,  and 
by  pouring  forth  the  last  drop  completed  their  sacrifice.  Every 
action  of  our  lives  ought  to  spring  from  this  fervent  motive,  and 

June  27.] 



we  should  consecrate  ourselves  to  the  divine  service  with  our 
whole  strength  ;  we  must  always  bear  in  mind  that  we  owe  to 
God  all  that  we  are,  and,  after  all  we  can  do,  are  unprofitable  ser- 
vants, and  do  only  what  we  are  bound  to  do. 


to  ascend  the  throne,  in  1080.  He  restored  the  good  laws  and 
discipline  which  St.  Stephen  had  established,  and  which  seem 
to  have  been  obliterated  by  the  confusion  of  the  times.  Chastity, 
meekness,  gravity,  charity,  and  piety  were  from  his  infancy  the 
distinguishing  parts  of  his  character ;  avarice  and  ambition  were 
his  sovereign  aversion,  so  perfectly  had  the  maxims  of  the  Gospel 
extinguished  in  him  all  propensity  to  those  base  passions.  His 
life  in  the  palace  was  most  austere ;  he  was  frugal  and  abste- 
mious, but  most  liberal  to  the  Church  and  the  poor.  Vanity,  pleas- 
ure, or  idle  amusements  had  no  share  in  his  actions  or  time,  because 
all  his  moments  were  consecrated  to  the  exercises  of  religion  and 
the  duties  of  his  station,  in  which  he  had  only  the  divine  will  in 
view,  and  sought  only  God's  greater  honor.    He  watched  over  a 



[June  28. 

strict  and  impartial  administration  of  justice,  was  generous  and 
merciful  to  his  enemies,  and  vigorous  in  the  defence  of  his  coun- 
try and  the  Church.  He  drove  the  Huns  out  of  his  territories,  and 
vanquished  the  Poles,  Russians,  and  Tartars.  He  was  preparing 
to  command,  as  general-in-chief,  the  great  expedition  of  the  Chris- 
tians against  the  Saracens  for  the  recovery  of  the  Holy  Land, 
when  God  called  him  to  Himself,  on  the  30th  of  July,  1095. 

Reflection. — The  Saints  filled  all  their  moments  with  good 
works  and  great  actions;  and,  whilst  they  labored  for  an  immortal 
crown,  the  greatest  share  of  worldly  happiness  of  which  this  life 
is  capable  fell  in  their  way  without  being  even  looked  for  by 
them.  In  their  afflictions  themselves,  virtue  afforded  them  the 
most  solid  comfort,  pointed  out  the  remedy,  and  converted  their 
tribulations  into  the  greatest  advantages. 


tHIS  Saint  was  born  about  the  year  120.  He  was  a  Grecian, 
probably  a  native  of  Lesser  Asia.  •  His  parents,  who  were 
Christians,  placed  him  under  the  care  of  the  great  St.  Poly- 
carp,  Bishop  of  Smyrna.  It  was  in  so  holy  a  school  that  he 
learned  that  sacred  science  which  rendered  him  afterward  a  great 
ornament  of  the  Church  and  the  terror  of  her  enemies.  St.  Poly- 
carp  cultivated  his  rising  genius,  and  formed  his  mind  to  piety  by 
precepts  and  example;  and  the  zealous  scholar  was  careful  to 
reap  all  the  advantages  which  were  offered  him  by  the  happiness 
of  such  a  master.  Such  was  his  veneration  for  his  tutor's  sanctity 
that  he  observed  every  action  and  whatever  he  saw  in  that  holy  man, 
the  better  to  copy  his  example  and  learn  his  spirit.  He  listened 
to- his  instructions  with  an  insatiable  ardor,  and  so  deeply  did  he 
engrave  them  on  his  heart  that  the  impressions  remained  most 
lively  even  to  his  old  age.  In  order  to  confute  the  heresies  of  his 
age,  this  father  made  himself  acquainted  with  the  most  absurd 
conceits  of  their  philosophers,  by  which  means  he  was  qualified 
to  trace  up  every  error  to  its  sources  and  set  it  in  its  full  light. 
St.  Polycarp  sent  St.  Irenaeus  into  Gaul,  in  company  with  some 
priest ;  he  was  himself  ordained  priest  of  the  Church  of  Lyons  by 
St.  Pothinus.  St.  Pothinus  having  glorified  God  by  his  happy 
death,  in  the  year  177,  our  Saint  was  chosen  the  second  Bishop  of 
Lyons.  By  his  preaching,  he  in  a  short  time  converted  almost 
that  whole  country  to  the  faith.    He  wrote  several  works  against 

June  29.] 



heresy,  and  at  last,  with  many  others,  suffered  martyrdom  about 
the  year  202,  under  the  Emperor  Severus,  at  Lyons. 

Reflection. — Fathers  and  mothers,  and  heads  of  families,  spirit- 
ual and  temporal,  should  bear  in  mind  that  inferiors  "  will  not  be 
corrected  by  words"  alone,  but  that  example  is  likewise  needful. 


§|ETER  was  of  Bethsaida  in  Galilee,  and  as  he  was  fishing  on 
the  lake  was  called  by  our  Lord  to  be  one  of  His  Apostles. 
He  was  poor  and  unlearned,  but  candid,  eager,  and  loving. 
In  his  heart,  first  of  all,  grew  up  the  conviction,  and  from  his  lips 
came  the  confession,  "  Thou  art  the  Christ,  the  Son  of  the  living 
God;"  and  so  our  Lord  chose  him,  and  fitted  him  to  be  the  Rock 
of  His  Church,  His  Vicar  on  earth,  the  head  and  prince  of  His 
Apostles,  the  centre  and  very  principle  of  the  Church's  oneness, 
the  source  of  all  spiritual  powers,  and  the  unerring  teacher  of 
His  truth.  All  Scripture  is  alive  with  him  ;  but  after  Pentecost  he 
stands  out  in  the  full  grandeur  of  his  office.  He  fills  the  vacant 
apostolic  throne;  admits  the  Jews  by  thousands  into  the  fold; 
opens  it  to  the  Gentiles  in  the  person  of  Cornelius;  founds,  and 
for  a  time  rules,  the  Church  at  Antioch,  and  sends  Mark  to  found 
that  of  Alexandria.    Ten  years  after  the  Ascension,  he  went  to 



[June  29. 

Rome,  the  centre  of  the  majestic  Roman  Empire,  where  were  gath- 
ered the  glories  and  the  wealth  of  the  earth  and  all  the  powers  of 
evil.  There  he  established  his  Chair,  and  for  twenty-five  years  la- 
bored with  St.  Paul  in  building  up  the  great  Roman  Church.  He 
was  crucified  by  order  of  Nero,  and  buried  on  the  Vatican  Hill. 
He  wrote  two  Epistles,  and  suggested  and  approved  the  Gospel  of 
St.  Mark.  Two  hundred  and  sixty  years  after  St.  Peter's  martyrdom 
came  the  open  triumph  of  the  Church.  Pope  St.  Silvester,  with 
bishops  and  clergy  and  the  whole  body  of  the  faithful,  went 
through  Rome  in  procession  to  the  Vatican  Hill,  singing  the  praises 
of  God  till  the  seven  hills  rang  again.   The  first  Christian  emperor, 

laying  aside  his  diadem  and  his  robes  of  state,  began  to  dig  the 
foundations  of  St.  Peter's  Church.  And  now  on  the  site  of  that 
old  church  stands  the  noblest  temple  ever  raised  by  man;  be- 
neath a  towering  canopy  lie  the  great  Apostles,  in  death,  as  in  life, 
undivided;  and  there  is  the  Chair  of  St.  Peter.  All  around  rest 
the  martyrs  of  Christ — Popes,  Saints,  Doctors,  from  east  and 
west — and  high  over  all,  the  words,  "  Thou  art  Peter,  and  on  this 
Rock  I  will  build  my  Church."  It  is  the  threshold  of  the  Apostles 
and  the  centre  of  the  world. 

Reflection. — Peter  still  lives  on  in  his  successors,  and  rules 
and  feeds  the  flock  committed  to  him.  The  reality  of  our  devo- 
tion to  him  is  the  surest  test  of  the  purity  of  our  faith. 

June  30.] 



JUNE  30.— ST.  PAUL. 

T.  PAUL  was  born  at  Tarsus,  of  Jewish  parents,  and  studied 
at  Jerusalem,  at  the  feet  of  Gamaliel.  While  still  a  young 
man,  he  held  the  clothes  of  those  who  stoned  the  proto-mar- 
tyr  Stephen  ;  and  in  his  restless  zeal  he  pressed  on  to  Damascus, 
"  breathing  out  threatenings  and  slaughter  against  the  disciples  of 
Christ."  But  near  Damascus  a  light  from  heaven  struck  him  to 
the  earth.  He  heard  a  voice  which  said,  "  Why  persecutest  thou 
Me  ?"  He  saw  the  form  of  Him  who  had  been  crucified  for  his 
sins,  and  then  for  three  days  he  saw  nothing  more.    He  awoke 

from  his  trance  another  man — a  new  creature  in  Jesus  Christ.  He 
left  Damascus  for  a  long  retreat  in  Arabia,  and  then,  at  the  call 
of  God,  he  carried  the  Gospel  to  the  uttermost  limits  of  the 
world,  and  for  years  he  lived  and  labored  with  no  thought  but 
the  thought  of  Christ  crucified,  no  desire  but  to  spend  and  be 
spent  for  Him.  He  became  the  Apostle  of  the  Gentiles,  whom  he 
had  been  taught  to  hate,  and  wished  himself  anathema  for  his 
own  countrymen,  who  sought  his  life.  Perils  by  land  and  sea 
could  not  damp  his  courage,  nor  toil  and  suffering  and  age  dull 
the  tenderness  of  his  heart.  At  last  he  gave  blood  for  blood.  In 
his  youth  he  had  imbibed  the  false  zeal  of  the  Pharisees  at  Jeru- 
salem, the  holy  city  of  the  former  dispensation.    With  St.  Peter 



[July  i. 

he  consecrated  Rome,  our  holy  city,  by  his  martyrdom,  and 
poured  into  its  Church  all  his  doctrine  with  all  his  blood.  He 
left  fourteen  Epistles,  which  have  been  a  fountain-head  of  the 
Church's  doctrine,  the  consolation  and  delight  of  her  greatest 
Saints.  His  interior  life,  so  far  as  words  can  tell  it,  lies  open  be- 
fore us  in  these  divine  writings,  the  life  of  one  who  has  died  for- 
ever to  himself  and  risen  again  in  Jesus  Christ.  "  In  what,"  says 
St.  Chrysostom,  "in  what  did  this  blessed  one  gain  an  advantage 
over  the  other  Apostles?  How  comes  it  that  he  lives  in  all  men's 
mouths  throughout  the  world  ?  Is  it  not  through  the  virtue  of 
his  Epistles  ?"  Nor  will  his  work  cease  while  the  race  of  man 
continues.  Even  now,  like  a  most  chivalrous  knight,  he  stands 
in  our  midst,  and  takes  captive  every  thought  to  the  obedience  of 

Reflection. — St.  Paul  complains  that  all  seek  the  things 
which  are  their  own,  and  not  the  things  which  are  Christ's.  See 
if  these  words  apply  to  you,  and  resolve  to  give  yourself  without 
reserve  to  God. 

T.  GAL  was  born  at  Clermont  in  Auvergne,  about  the  year 

489.    His  father  was  of  the  first  houses  of  that  province,  and 

his  mother  was  descended  from  the  family  of  Vettius  Apaga- 
tus,  the  celebrated  Roman  who  suifered  at  Lyons  for  the  faith  of 
Christ.  They  both  took  special  care  of  the  education  of  their 
son,  and,  when  he  arrived  at  a  proper  age,  proposed  to  have  him 
married  to  the  daughter  of  a  respectable  senator.  The  Saint,  who 
had  taken  a  resolution  to  consecrate  himself  to  God,  withdrew 
privately  from  his  father's  house  to  the  monastery  of  Cournon, 
near  the  city  of  Auvergne,  and  earnestly  prayed  to  be  admitted 
there  amongst  the  monks ;  and  having  soon  after  obtained  the 
consent  of  his  parents,  he  with  joy  renounced  all  worldly  vanities 
to  embrace  religious  poverty.  Here  his  eminent  virtues  distin- 
guished him  in  a  particular  manner,  and  recommended  him  to 
Quintianus,  Bishop  of  Auvergne,  who  promoted  him  to  holy 
orders.  The  bishop  dying  in  527,  St.  Gal  was  appointed  to  succeed 
him,  and  in  this  new  character  his  humility,  charity,  and  zeal  were 
conspicuous;  above  all,  his  patience  in  bearing  injuries.  Being 
once  struck  on  the  head  by  a  brutal  man,  he  discovered  not  the 




July  2.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  295 

least  emotion  of  anger  or  resentment,  and  by  this  meekness  dis- 
armed the  savage  of  his  rage.  At  another  time,  Evodius,  who 
from  a  senator  became  a  priest,  having  so  far  forgotten  himself  as 
to  treat  him  in  the  most  insulting  manner,  the  Saint,  without 
making  the  least  reply,  arose  meekly  from  his  seat  and  went  to 
visit  the  churches  of  the  city.  Evodius  was  so  touched  by  this 
conduct  that  he  cast  himself  at  the  Saint's  feet,  in  the  middle  of  the 
street,  and  asked  his  pardon.  From  this  time,  they  both  lived  on 
terms  of  the  most  cordial  friendship.  St.  Gal  was  favored  with 
the  gift  of  miracles,  and  died  about  the  year  553. 


HE  angel  Gabriel,  in  the  mystery  of  the  Annunciation,  in- 
formed the  Mother  of  God  that  her  cousin  Elizabeth  had 
miraculously  conceived,  and  was  then"  pregnant  with  a  son 
who  was  to  be  the  precursor  of  the  Messiah.  The  Blessed  Virgin 
out  of  humility  concealed  the  wonderful  dignity  to  which  she 
was  raised  by  the  incarnation  of  the  Son  of  God  in  her  womb, 
but,  in  the  transport  of  her  holy  joy  and  gratitude,  determined  she 
would  go  to  congratulate  the  mother  of  the  Baptist.  "  Mary  there- 
fore arose,"  saith  St.  Luke,  "  and  with  haste  went  into  the  hilly 



[July  2. 

country  into  a  city  of  Judea,  and,  entering  into  the  house  of 
Zachary,  saluted  Elizabeth."  What  a  blessing  did  the  presence  of 
the  God-man  bring  to  this  house,  the  first  which  He  honored  in 
His  humanity  with  His  visit !  But  Mary  is  the  instrument  and 
means  by  which  He  imparts  to  it  His  divine  benediction,  to  show 
us  that  she  is  a  channel  through  which  He  delights  to  com- 
municate to  us  His  graces,  and  to  encourage  us  to  ask  them  of  Him 
through  her  intercession.  At  the  voice  of  the  Mother  of  God,  but 
by  the  power  and  grace  of  her  divine  Son  in  her  womb,  Elizabeth 
was  filled  with  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  the  Infant  in  her  womb  con- 
ceived so  great  a  joy  as  to  leap  and  exult.  At  the  same  time, 
Elizabeth  was  filled  with  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  by  His  infused 
light  she  understood  the  great  mystery  of  the  Incarnation  which 
God  had  wrought  in  Mary,  whom  humility  prevented  from  dis- 
closing it  even  to  a  Saint,  and  an  intimate  friend.    In  raptures  of 

astonishment,  Elizabeth  pronounced  her  blessed  above  all  other 
women,  and  cried  out,  "  Whence  is  this  to  me  that  the  mother  of 
my  Lord  should  come  tome?"  Mary,  hearing  her  own  praise, 
sunk  the  lower  in  the  abyss  of  her  nothingness,  and  in  the  trans- 
port of  her  humility,  and  melting  in  an  ecstasy  of  love  and  grati- 
tude, burst  into  that  admirable  canticle,  the  Magnificat.  Mary 
stayed  with  her  cousin  almost  three  month  after  which  she  re- 
turned to  Nazareth. 

July  3.] 



Reflection. — Whilst  with  the  Church  we  praise  God  for  the 
mercies  and  wonders  which  He  wrought  in  this  mystery,  we  ought 
to  apply  ourselves  to  the  imitation  of  the  virtues  of  which  Mary 
sets  us  a  perfect  example.  From  her  we  ought  particularly  to 
learn  the  lessons  by  which  we  shall  sanctify  our  visits  and  con- 
versation, actions  which  are  to  so  many  Christians  the  sources  of 
innumerable  dangers  and  sins. 


fHIS  Saint  was  born  at  Dalmatia,  St.  Jerome's  native  country, 
and  soon  sought  out  that  great  Doctor,  in  order  not  only  to 
follow  his  advice  in  matters  relating  to  Christian  perfection, 
but  also  to  profit  by  his  deep  learning.    The  life  of  a  recluse  pos- 
sessed peculiar  attractions  for  him,  but  to  enter  a  monastery  it 

would  be  necessary  to  leave  his  spiritual  master  and  director,  and 
such  a  sacrifice  he  was  not  prepared  to  make.  He  remained  in 
the  world,  though  not  of  it,  and,  following  the  example  of  the  holy 
anchorites,  passed  his  time  in  prayer  and  devout  reading.  He  ac- 
companied St.  Jerome  to  the  East,  but  the  desire  to  revisit  his 
native  land,  and  to  see  his  parents  once  more,  drew  him  back  to 
Dalmatia,  although  St.  Jerome  tried  to  persuade  him  to  remain. 



[July  4. 

He  promised  to  return  as  soon  as  he  had  fulfilled  the  duty  he 
owed  his  parents.  In  the  meantime,  finding  his  absence  protracted, 
and  fearing  that  the  love  of  family  and  attachment  to  worldly 
things  might  lure  him  from  his  vocation,  St.  Jerome  wrote  him  an 
earnest  letter  exhorting  him  to  break  entirely  with  the  world,  and 
to  consecrate  himself  to  the  service  of  God.  But  the  Lord,  who 
disposes  all  things,  had  another  mission  for  His  servant.  After  the 
death  of  his  mother,  Heliodorus  went  to  Italy,  where  he  soon  be- 
came noted  for  his  eminent  piety.  He  was  made  Bishop  of  Altino, 
and  became  one  of  the  most  distinguished  prelates  of  an  age  fruit- 
ful in  great  men.    He  died  about  the  year  290. 


(tFd)ERTHA  was  the  daughter  of  Count  Rigobert  and  Ursana, 
,tK?  related  to  one  of  the  kings  of  Kent  in  England.  In  the 
twentieth  year  of  her  age,  she  was  married  to  Sigefroi,  by 
whom  she  had  five  daughters,  two  of  whom,  Gertrude  and  Deotila, 
were  Saints.   After  her  husband's  death,  she  put  on  the  veil  in  the 

nunnery  which  she  had  built  at  Blangy  in  Artois,  a  little  distance 
from  Hesdin.  Her  daughters,  Gertrude  and  Deotila,  followed  her 
example.  She  was  persecuted  by  Roger,  or  Rotgar,  who  endeavored 

July  5.] 



to  asperse  her  with  King  Thierri  III  ,  to  revenge  his  being  refused 
Gertrude  in  marriage.  But  this  prince,  convinced  of  the  inno- 
cence of  Bertha,  then  abbess  over  her  nunnery,  gave  her  a  kind 
reception  and  took  her  under  his  protection.  On  her  return  to 
Blangy,  Bertha  finished  her  nunnery  and  caused  three  churches 
to  be  built,  one  in  honor  of  St.  Omer,  another  she  called  after  St. 
Vaast,  and  the  third  in  honor  of  St.  Martin  of  Tours.  And  then, 
after  establishing  a  regular  observance  in  her  community,  she  left 
St.  Deotila  abbess  in  her  stead,  and  shut  herself  in  a  cell,  to  pass 
the  remainder  of  her  days  in  prayer.  She  died  about  the  year  725. 
A  great  part  of  her  relics  are  kept  at  Blangy. 


"SpETER  OF  LUXEMBURG,  descended  both  by  his  father 
j]!^  and  mother  from  the  noblest  families  in  Europe,  was  born 
in  Lorraine,  in  the  year  1369.  When  but  a  schoolboy,  twelve 
years  of  age,  he  went  to  London  as  a  hostage  for  his  brother,  the 
Count  of  St.  Pol,  who  had  been  taken  prisoner.    The  English 

were  so  won  by  Peter's  holy  example  that  they  released  him  at  the 
end  of  the  year,  taking  his  word  for  the  ransom.  Richard  II.  now 
invited  him  to  remain  at  the  English  court ;  but  Peter  returned  to 



[July  6. 

Paris,  determined  to  have  no  master  but  Christ.  At  the  early  age 
of  fifteen,  he  was  appointed,  on  account  of  his  prudence  and  sanc- 
tity, Bishop  of  Metz,  and  made  his  public  entry  into  his  see  bare- 
foot and  riding  an  ass.  He  governed  his  diocese  with  all  the  zeal 
and  prudence  of  maturity,  and  divided  his  revenues  in  three  parts 
— for  the  Church,  the  poor,  and  his  household.  His  charities  often 
left  him  personally  destitute,  and  he  had  but  twentypence  left 
when  he  died.  Created  Cardinal  of  St.  George,  his  austerities  in 
the  midst  of  a  court  were  so  severe  that  he  was  ordered  to  moder- 
ate thern.  Peter  replied,  "  I  shall  always  be  an  unprofitable 
servant,  but  I  can  at  least  obey."  Ten  months  after  his  promo- 
tion, he  fell  sick  of  a  fever,  and  lingered  for  some  time  in  a  sinking 
condition,  his  holiness  increasing  as  he  drew  near  his  end.  St. 
Peter,  it  was  believed,  never  stained  his  soul  by  mortal  sin ;  yet,  as 
he  grew  in  grace,  his  holy  hatred  of  self  became  more  and  more 
intense.  At  length,  when  he  had  received  the  last  Sacraments,  he 
forced  his  attendants  each  in  turn  to  scourge  him  for  his  faults, 
and  then  lay  silent  till  he  died.  But  God  was  pleased  to  glorify 
His  servant.  Among  other  miracles  is  the  following :  On  July 
5th,  1432,  a  child  about  twelve  years  old  was  killed  by  falling  from 
a  high  tower,  in  the  palace  of  Avignon,  upon  a  sharp  rock.  The 
father,  distracted  with  grief,  picked  up  the  scattered  pieces  of  the 
skull  and  brains,  and  carried  them  in  a  sack,  with  the  mutilated 
body  of  his  son,  to  St.  Peter's  shrine,  and  with  many  tears  besought 
the  Saint's  intercession.  After  a  while,  the  child  returned  to  life, 
and  was  placed  upon  the  altar  for  all  to  witness.  In  honor  of  this 
miracle,  the  city  of  Avignon  chose  St.  Peter  as  its  patron  Saint. 
He  died  a.d.  1387,  aged  eighteen  years. 

Reflection.— St.  Peter  teaches  us  how,  by  self-denial,  rank, 
riches,  the  highest  dignities,  and  all  this  world  can  give,  may  serve 
to  make  a  Saint. 


\§SjT.  GOAR  was  born  of  an  illustrious  family,  at  Aquitaine. 
yS)  From  his  youth  he  was  noted  for  his  earnest  piety,  and,  having 
been  raised  to  sacred  orders,  he  converted  many  sinners  by  the 
fervor  of  his  preaching  and  the  force  of  his  example.  Wishing 
to  serve  God  entirely  unknown  to  the  world,  he  went  over  into 
Germany,  and,  settling  in  the  neighborhood  of  Trier,  he  shut  him- 
self up  in  his  cell,  and  arrived  at  such  an  eminent  degree  of  sanc- 
tity as  to  be  esteemed  the  oracle  and  miracle  of  the  whole  country. 

July  6.] 



Sigebert,  King  of  Austrasia,  learning  of  the  sanctity  of  Goar, 
wished  to  have  him  made  Bishop  of  Metz,  and  for  that  purpose 
summoned  him  to  court.  The  Saint,  fearing  the  responsibilities  of 
the  office,  prayed  that  he  might  be  excused.  He  was  seized  with  a 
fever,  and  died  in  575. 


HE  name  of  Palladius  shows  this  Saint  to  have  been  a 
Roman,  and  most  authors  agree  that  he  was  deacon  of  the 
Church  of  Rome.  At  least  St.  Prosper,  in  his  chronicle,  in- 
forms us  that  when  Agricola,  a  noted  Pelagian,  had  corrupted  the 
churches  of  Britain  by  introducing  that  pestilential  heresy,  Pope 
Celestine,  at  the  instance  of  Palladius  the  deacon,  in  429,  sent 
thither  St.  Germanus,  Bishop  of  Auxerre,  in  quality  of  his  legate, 
who,  having  ejected  the  heretics,  brought  back  the  Britons  to  the 
Catholic  faith.  In  431  Pope  Celestine  sent  Palladius,  the  first 
bishop,  to  the  Scots  then  believing  in  Christ.  The  Irish  writers  of 
the  lives  of  St.  Patrick  say  that  St.  Palladius  had  preached  in  Ire- 
land a  little  before  St.  Patrick,  but  that  he  was  soon  banished  by 
the  King  of  Leinster,  and  returned  to  North  Britain,  where  he 
had  first  opened  his  mission.  There  seems  to  be  no  doubt  that  he 
was  sent  to  the  whole  nation  of  the  Scots,  several  colonies  of  whom 



[July  7. 

had  passed  from  Ireland  into  North  Britain,  and  possessed  them- 
selves of  part  of  the  country,  since  called  Scotland.  After  St. 
Palladius  had  left  Ireland,  he  arrived  among  the  Scots  in  North 
Britain,  according  to  St.  Prosper,  in  the  consulate  of  Bassus  and 
Antiochus,  in  the  year  of  Christ  431.  He  preached  there  with 
great  zeal,  and  formed  a  considerable  Church.  The  Scottish  histo- 
rians tell  us  that  the  faith  was  planted  in  North  Britain  about  the 
year  200,  in  the  time  of  King  Donald,  when  Victor  was  Pope  of 
Rome.  But  they  all  acknowledge  that  Palladius  was  the  first 
bishop  in  that  country,  and  style  him  their  first  apostle.  The  Saint 
died  at  Fordun,  fifteen  miles  from  Aberdeen,  about  the  year  450. 

Reflection. — St.  Palladius  surmounted  every  obstacle  which  a 
fierce  nation  had  opposed  to  the  establishment  of  the  kingdom  of 
Jesus  Christ.  Ought  not  our  hearts  to  be  impressed  with  the  most 
lively  sentiments  of  love  and  gratitude  to  our  merciful  God  for 
having  raised  up  such  great  and  zealous  men,  by  whose  ministry 
the  light  of  true  faith  has  been  conveyed  to  us  ? 


HIS  learned  father  and  apostolic  man  flourished  in  the  second 
century.  He  was  by  birth  a  Sicilian,  by  profession  a  Stoic 
philosopher.  His  esteem  for  virtue  led  him  into  an  acquaint- 
ance with  the  Christians,  and  being  charmed  with  the  innocence 
and  sanctity  of  their  conversation,  he  opened  his  eyes  to  the  truth. 
He  studied  the  Holy  Scriptures  under  the  disciples  of  the  apostles, 
and  his  thirst  after  sacred  learning  brought  him  to  Alexandria,  in 
Egypt,  where  the  disciples  of  St.  Mark  had  instituted  a  celebrated 
school  of  the  Christian  doctrine.  Pantaenus  sought  not  to  display 
his  talents  in  that  great  mart  of  literature  and  commerce ;  but  his 
great  progress  in  sacred  learning  was  after  some  time  discovered, 
and  he  was  drawn  out  of  that  obscurity  in  which  his  humility 
sought  to  bury  itself.  Being  placed  at  the  head  of  the  Christian 
school  some  time  before  the  year  179,  by  his  learning  and  excellent 
manner  of  teaching  he  raised  its  reputation  above  all  the  schools 
of  the  philosophers,  and  the  lessons  which  he  read,  and  which 
were  gathered  from  the  flowers  of  the  prophets  and  apostles,  con- 
veyed  light  and  knowledge  into  the  minds  of  all  his  hearers.  The 
Indians  who  traded  at  Alexandria  entreated  him  to  pay  their  coun- 
try a  visit,  whereupon  he  forsook  his  school  and  went  to  preach  the 
Gospel  to  the  Eastern  nations.    St.  Pantaenus  found  some  seeds  of 

the  faith  already  sown  in  the  Indies,  and  a  book  of  the  Gospel  of 
St.  Matthew  in  Hebrew,  which  St.  Bartholomew  had  carried  thither. 
He  brought  it  back  with  him  to  Alexandria,  whither  he  returned 
after  he  had  zealously  employed  some  years  in  instructing  the  In- 
dians in  the  faith.  St.  Pantsenus  continued  to  teach  in  private  till 
about  the  year  216,  when  he  closed  a  noble  and  excellent  life  by  a 
happy  death. 

Reflection. — "  Have  a  care  that  none  lead  you  astray  by  a  false 
philosophy,"  says  St.  Paul,  for  philosophy  without  religion  is  a 
vain  thing. 


LIZABETH  was  born  in  127 1.  She  was  daughter  of  Pedro 
III.  of  Arragon,  being  named  after  her  aunt,  St.  Elizabeth 
of  Hungary.  At  twelve  years  of  age,  she  was  given  in  mar- 
riage to  Denis,  King  of  Portugal,  and  from  a  holy  child  became  a 
saintly  wife.  She  heard  Mass  and  recited  the  Divine  Office  daily, 
but  her  devotions  were  arranged  with  such  prudence  that  they  in- 
terfered with  no  duty  of  her  state.  She  prepared  for  her  frequent 
communions  by  severe  austerities,  fasting  thrice  a  week,  and  by 
heroic  wTorks  of  charity.  She  was  several  times  called  on  to  make 
peace  between  her  husband  and  her  son  Alphonso,  who  had  taken 



[July  8. 

up  arms  against  him.  Her  husband  tried  her  much,  both  by  his  un- 
founded jealousy  and  by  his  infidelity  to  herself.  A  slander  affect- 
ing Elizabeth  and  one  of  her  pages  made  the  king  determine  to  slay 
the  youth,  and  he  told  a  lime-burner  to  cast  into  his  kiln  the  first 
page  who  should  arrive  with  a  royal  message.  On  the  day  fixed 
the  page  was  sent ;  but  the  boy,  who  was  in  the  habit  of  hearing 
Mass  daily,  stopped  on  his  way  to  do  so.  The  king,  in  suspense, 
sent  a  second  page,  the  very  originator  of  the  calumny,  who,  com- 
ing first  to  the  kiln,  was  at  once  cast  into  the  furnace  and  burned. 
Shortly  after,  the  first  page  arrived  from  the  church,  and  took  back  to 
the  king  the  lime-burner's  reply  that  his  orders  had  been  fulfilled. 

Thus  hearing  Mass  saved  the  page's  life  and  proved  the  queen's 
innocence.  Her  patience,  and  the  wonderful  sweetness  with  which 
she  even  cherished  the  children  of  her  rivals,  completely  won  the 
king  from  his  evil  ways,  and  he  became  a  devoted  husband  and  a 
truly  Christian  king.  She  built  many  charitable  institutions  and 
religious  houses,  among  others  a  convent  of  Poor  Clares.  After 
her  husband's  death,  she  wished  to  enter  their  order;  but  being 
dissuaded  by  her  people,  who  could  not  do  without  her,  she  took 
the  habit  of  the  Third  Order  of  St.  Francis,  and  spent  the  rest  of 
lier  life  in  redoubled  austerities  and  alms-giving.  She  died  at  the 
:age  of  sixty-five,  while  in  the  act  of  making  peace  between  her 

July  9.] 




Reflection. — In  the  Holy  Sacrifice  of  the  Altar,  St.  Elizabeth 
daily  found  strength  to  bear  with  sweetness  suspicion  and  cruelty  . 
and  by  that  same  Holy  Sacrifice  her  innocence  was  proved.  What 
su'ccor  do  we  forfeit  by  neglect  of  daily  Mass ! 


T.  EPHREM  is  the  light  and  glory  of  the  Syriac  Church.  A 
mere  youth,  he  entered  on  the  religious  life  at  Nisibis,  his 
native  place.     Long  years  of  retirement  taught  him  the 
science  of  the  Saints,  and  then  God  called  him  to  Edessa,  there 

to  teach  what  he  had  learned  so  well.  He  defended  the  faith 
against  heresies,  in  books  which  have  made  him  known  as  the 
Prophet  of  the  Syrians.  Crowds  hung  upon  his  words.  Tears 
used  to  stop  his  voice  when  he  preached.  He  trembled  and  made 
his  hearers  tremble  at  the  thought  of  God's  judgments ;  but  he 
found  in  compunction  and  humility  the  way  to  peace,  and  he 
rested  with  unshaken  confidence  in  the  mercy  of  our  Blessed  Lord. 
"  I  am  setting  out,"  he  says,  speaking  of  his  own  death,  "  I  am  set- 
ting out  on  a  journey  hard  and  dangerous.  Thee,  O  Son  of  God, 
I  have  taken  for  my  Viaticum.  When  I  am  hungry,  I  will  feed  on 
Thee.    The  infernal  fire  will  not  venture  near  me,  for  it  cannot 



[July  io. 

bear  the  fragrance  of  Thy  Body  and  Thy  Blood."  His  hymns 
won  the  hearts  of  the  people,  drove  out  the  hymns  of  the  Gnostic 
heretics,  and  gained  for  him  the  title  which  he  bears  in  the  Syriac 
Liturgy  to  this  day — "the  Harp  of  the  Holy  Ghost."  Passionate 
as  he  was  by  nature,  from  the  time  he  entered  religion  no  one  ever 
saw  him  angry.  Abounding  in  labors  till  the  last,  he  toiled  for 
the  suffering  poor  at  Edessa  in  the  famine  of  378,  and  there  lay 
down  to  die  in  extreme  old  age.  What  was  the  secret  of  success 
so  various  and  so  complete  ?  Humility,  which  made  him  distrust 
himself  and  trust  God.  Till  his  death,  he  wept  for  the  slight  sins 
committed  in  the  thoughtlessness  of  boyhood.  He  refused  the 
dignity  of  the  priesthood.  "  I,"  he  told  St.  Basil,  whom  he  went 
to  see  at  the  bidding  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  "  I  am  that  Ephrem  who 
have  wandered  from  the  path  of  heaven."  Then  bursting  into 
tears,  he  cried  out,  "  O  my  father,  have  pity  on  a  sinful  wretch,  and 
lead  me  on  the  narrow  way." 

Reflection. — Humility  is  the  path  which  leads  to  abiding 
peace  and  brings  us  near  to  the  consolations  of  God. 


HE  illustrious  martyrdom  of  these  Saints  happened  at  Rome, 

under  the  emperor  Antoninus.    The  seven  brothers  were  the 

sons  of  St.  Felicitas,  a  noble,  pious,  Christian  widow  in  Rome, 
who,  after  the  death  of  her  husband,  served  God  in  a  state  of  con- 
tinency  and  employed  herself  wholly  in  prayer,  fasting,  and  works 
of  charity.  By  the  public  and  edifying  example  of  this  lady  and 
her  whole  family,  many  idolaters  were  moved  to  renounce  the 
worship  of  their  false  gods,  and  to  embrace  the  faith  of  Christ. 
This  excited  the  anger  of  the  heathen  priests,  who  complained  to 
the  emperor  that  the  boldness  with  which  Felicitas  publicly  prac- 
tised the  Christian  religion  drew  many  from  the  worship  of  the 
immortal  gods,  who  were  the  guardians  and  protectors  of  the  em- 
pire, and  that,  in  order  to  appease  these  false  gods,  it  was  necessary 
to  compel  this  lady  and  her  children  to  sacrifice  to  them.  Publius, 
the  prefect  of  Rome,  caused  the  mother  and  her  sons  to  be  appre- 
hended and  brought  before  him,  and,  addressing  her,  said,  "  Take 
pity  on  your  children,  Felicitas ;  they  are  in  the  bloom  of  youth, 
and  may  aspire  to  the  greatest  honors  and  preferments."  The 
holy  mother  answered,  "  Your  pity  is  really  impiety,  and  the  com- 

July  io.] 



passion  to  which  you  exhort  me  would  make  me  the  most  cruel  of 
mothers."  Then  turning  herself  towards  her  children,  she  said  to 
them,  "  My  sons,  look  up  to  heaven,  where  Jesus  Christ  with  His 
Saints  expects  you.  Be  faithful  in  His  love,  and  fight  courageously 
for  your  souls."  Publius,  being  exasperated  at  this  behavior, 
commanded  her  to  be  cruelly  buffeted ;  he  then  called  the  chil- 
dren to  him  one  after  another,  and  used  many  artful  speeches, 
mingling  promises  with  threats  to  induce  them  to  adore  the  gods. 
His  arguments  and  threats  were  equally  in  vain,  and  the  brothers 
were  condemned  to  be  scourged.     After  being  whipped,  they 

were  remanded  to  prison,  and  the  prefect,  despairing  to  over- 
come their  resolution,  laid  the  whole  process  before  the  emperor. 
Antoninus  gave  an  order  that  they  should  be  sent  to  different 
judges,  and  be  condemned  to  different  deaths.  Januarius  was 
scourged  to  death  with  whips  loaded  with  plummets  of  lead. 
The  two  next,  Felix  and  Philip,  were  beaten  with  clubs  till 
they  expired.  Sylvanus,  the  fourth,  was  thrown  headlong  down  a 
steep  precipice.  The  three  youngest,  Alexander,  Vitalis,  and 
Martialis,  were  beheaded,  and  the  same  sentence  was  executed 
upon  the  mother  four  months  after. 

Reflection— What  afflictions  do  parents  daily  meet  with  from 
the  disorders  into  which  their  children  fall  through  their  own 



[July  1 1  . 

bad  example  or  neglect !  Let  them  imitate  the  earnestness  of 
St.  Felicitas  in  forming  to  perfect  virtue  the  tender  souls  which 
God  hath  committed  to  their  charge,  and  with  this  Saint  they 
will  have  the  greatest  of  all  comforts  in  them,  and  will  by  His 
grace  count  as  many  Saints  in  their  family  as  they  are  blessed 
with  children. 


HIS  eminent  Saint  and  glorious  Doctor  of  the  Syriac  Church 
was  a  native  of  Nisibis,  in  Mesopotamia.  In  his  youth, 
entering  the  world,  he  trembled  at  the  sight  of  its  vices  and 
the  slippery  path  of  its  pleasures,  and  he  thought  it  the  safer  part 
to  strengthen  himself  in  retirement,  that  he  might  afterward  be 
the  better  able  to  stand  his  ground  in  the  field.  He  accordingly 
chose  the  highest  mountain  for  his  abode,  sheltering  himself  in  a 
cave  in  the  winter,  and  the  rest  of  the  year  living  in  the  woods, 
continually  exposed  to  the  open  air.  Notwithstanding  his  desire 
to  live  unknown  to  men,  he  was  discovered,  and  many  were  not 
afraid  to  climb  the  rugged  rocks  that  they  might  recommend 
themselves  to  his  prayers  and  receive  the  comfort  of  his  spiritual 
advice.  He  was  favored  with  the  gifts  of  prophecy  and  miracles 
in  an  uncommon  measure.  One  day,  as  he  was  travelling,  he  was 
accosted  by  a  gang  of  beggars,  with  the  view  of  extorting  money 
from  him  under  pretence  of  burying  their  companion,  who  lay 
stretched  on  the  ground  as  if  he  were  dead.  The  holy  man  gave 
them  what  they  asked,  and  "offering  up  supplications  to  God  as 
for  a  soul  departed,  he  prayed  that  his  Divine  Majesty  would 
pardon  him  the  sins  he  had  committed  whilst  he  lived,  and  that 
he  would  admit  him  into  the  company  of  the  Saints."  As  soon 
as  the  Saint  was  gone  by,  the  beggars,  calling  upon  their  com- 
panion to  rise  and  take  his  share  of  the  booty,  were  surprised  to 
find  him  really  dead.  Seized  with  sudden  fear  and  grief,  they 
shrieked  in  the  utmost  consternation,  and  immediately  ran  after 
the  man  of  God,  cast  themselves  at  his  feet,  confessed  the  cheat, 
begged  forgiveness,  and  besought  him  by  his  prayers  to  restore 
their  unhappy  companion  to  life,  which  the  Saint  did.  The 
most  famous  miracle  of  our  Saint  was  that  by  which  he  protected 
his  native  city  from  the  barbarians.  Sapor  II.,  the  haughty 
king  of  Persia,  besieged  Nisibis  with  the  whole  strength  of 
his  empire,  whilst  our  Saint  was  Bishop.  The  Bishop  would  not 
pray  for  the  destruction  of  any  one,  but  he  implored  the  Divine 

July  ii.] 



Mercy  that  the  city  might  be  delivered  from  the  calamities  of  so 
long  a  siege.  Afterward,  going  to  the  top  of  a  high  tower, 
and  turning  his  face  towards  the  enemy,  and  seeing  the  pro- 
digious multitude  of  men  and  beasts  which  covered  the  whole 
country,  he  said,  "  Lord,  Thou  art  able  by  the  weakest  means  to 
humble  the  pride  of  Thy  enemies ;  defeat  these  multitudes  by  an 
army  of  gnats."  God  heard  the  humble  prayer  of  His  servant. 
Scarce  had  the  Saint  spoken  those  words,  wThen  whole  clouds  of 
gnats  and  flies  came  pouring  down  upon  the  Persians,  got  into 
the  elephants'  trunks  and  the  horses'  ears  and  nostrils,  which  made 

them  chafe  and  foam,  throw  their  riders,  and  put  the  whole  army 
into  confusion  and  disorder.  A  famine  and  pestilence,  which  fol- 
lowed, carried  off  a  great  part  of  the  army ;  and  Sapor,  after  lying 
above  three  months  before  the  place,  set  fire  to  all  his  own  en- 
gines of  war,  and  was  forced  to  abandon  the  siege  and  return  home 
with  the  loss  of  twenty  thousand  men.  Sapor  received  a  third  foil 
under  the  walls  of  Nisibis,  in  359,  upon  which  he  turned  his  arms 
against  Amidus,  took  that  strong  city,  and  put  the  garrison  and 
the  greatest  part  of  the  inhabitants  to  the  sword.  The  citizens  of 
Nisibis  attributed  their  preservation  to  the  intercession  of  their 
glorious  patron,  St.  James,  although  he  had  already  gone  to  his 
reward.    He  died  in  350. 



[July  12. 


^@T.  JOHN  GUALBERT  was  born  at  Florence,  a.d.  999.  Fol- 
kS)  lowing  the  profession  of  arms  at  that  troubled  period,  he  be- 
came involved  in  a  blood-feud  with  a  near  relation.  One 
Good  Friday,  as  he  was  riding  into  Florence  accompanied  by  armed 
men,  he  encountered  his  enemy  in  a  place  where  neither  could 
avoid  the  other.  John  would  have  slain  him ;  but  his  adversary, 
who  was  totally  unprepared  to  fight,  fell  upon  his  knees  with  his 
arms  stretched  out  in  the  form  of  a  cross,  and  implored  him,  for 
the  sake  of  our  Lord's  Holy  Passion,  to  spare  his  life.    St.  John 

said  to  his  enemy,  "  I  cannot  refuse  what  you  ask  in  Christ's  name. 
I  grant  you  your  life,  and  I  give  you  my  friendship.  Pray  that 
God  may  forgive  me  my  sin."  Grace  triumphed.  A  humble  and 
•changed  man,  he  entered  the  Church  of  St.  Miniato,  which  was 
near ;  and  whilst  he  prayed,  the  figure  of  our  crucified  Lord,  be- 
fore which  he  was  kneeling,  bowed  its  head  towards  him  as  if  to 
ratify  his  pardon.  Abandoning  the  world,  he  gave  himself  up  to 
prayer  and  penance  in  the  Benedictine  Order.  Later  he  was  led 
to  found  the  congregation  called  of  Vallombrosa,  from  the  shady 
valley  a  few  miles  from  Florence,  where  he  established  his  first 
monastery.  Once  the  enemies  of  the  Saint  came  to  his  convent  of 
St.  Salvi,  plundered  it,  and  set  fire  to  it,  and  having  treated  the 

July  13.] 


monks  with  ignominy,  beat  them  and  wounded  them.  St.  John 
rejoiced.  "  Now,"  he  said,  "you  are  true  monks.  Would  that  I 
myself  had  had  the  honor  of  being  with  you  when  the  soldiers 
came,  that  I  might  have  had  a  share  in  the  glory  of  your  crowns !" 
He  fought  manfully  against  simony,  and  in  many  ways  promoted 
the  interest  of  the  faith  in  Italy.  After  a  life  of  great  austerity, 
he  died  whilst  the  angels  were  singing  round  his  bed,  July  12th, 

Reflection. — The  heroic  act  which  merited  for  St.  John  Gual- 
bert  his  conversion  was  the  forgiveness  of  his  enemy.  Let  us  imi- 
tate him  in  this  virtue,  resolving  never  to  revenge  ourselves  in 
deed,  in  word,  or  in  thought. 


HE  episcopal  see  of  Carthage  had  remained  vacant  twenty- 
four  years,  when,  in  481,  Huneric  permitted  the  Catholics  on 
certain  conditions  to  choose  one  who  should  fill  it.  The  peo- 
ple, impatient  to  enjoy  the  comfort  of  a  pastor,  pitched  upon  Eu- 
genius,  a  citizen  of  Carthage,  eminent  for  his  learning,  zeal,  piety, 
and  prudence.  His  charities  to  the  distressed  were  excessive,  and 
he  refused  himself  every  thing  that  he  might  give  all  to  the  poor. 
His  virtue  gained  him  the  respect  and  esteem  even  of  the  Arians ; 
but  at  length  envy  and  blind  zeal  got  the  ascendant  in  their 
breasts,  and  the  king  sent  him  an  order  never  to  sit  on  the  episco- 
pal throne,  preach  to  the  people,  or  admit  into  his  chapel  any 
Vandals,  among  whom  several  were  Catholics.  The  Saint  boldly 
answered  that  the  laws  of  God  commanded  him  not  to  shut  the 
door  of  His  church  to  any  that  desired  to  serve  Him  in  it.  Huneric, 
enraged  at  this  answer,  persecuted  the  Catholics  in  various  ways. 
Many  nuns  were  so  cruelly  tortured  that  they  died  on  the  rack. 
Great  numbers  of  bishops,  priests,  deacons,  and  eminent  Catholic 
laymen  were  banished  to  a  desert,  filled  with  scorpions  and  veno- 
mous serpents.  The  people  followed  their  bishops  and  priests  with 
lighted  tapers  in  their  hands,  and  mothers  carried  their  little  babes 
in  their  arms  and  laid  them  at  the  feet  of  the  confessors,  all  crying 
out  with  tears,  "  Going  yourselves  to  your  crowns,  to  whom  do  you 
leave  us  ?  Who  will  baptize  our  children  ?  Who  will  impart  to  us 
the  benefit  of  penance,  and  discharge  us  from  the  bonds  of  sin  by  the 
favor  of  reconciliation  and  pardon  ?  Who  will  bury  us  with  sol- 
emn supplications  at  our  death  ?  By  whom  will  the  Divine  Sacrifice 



[July  14. 

be  made?"  The  Bishop  Eugenius  was  spared  in  the  first  storm, 
but  afterwards  was  carried  into  the  uninhabited  desert  country  in 
the  province  of  Tripolis,  and  committed  to  the  guard  of  Antony, 
an  inhuman  Arian  bishop,  who  treated  him  with  the  utmost  bar- 
barity. Gontamund,  who  succeeded  Huneric,  recalled  our  Saint 
to  Carthage,  opened  the  Catholic  churches,  and  allowed  all  the 
exiled  priests  to  return.  After  reigning  twelve  years,  Gontamund 
died,  and  his  brother  Thrasimund  was  called  to  the  crown.  Under 
this  prince,  St  Eugenius  was  again  banished,  and  died  in  exile,  on 
the  13th  of  July,  505,  in  a  monastery  which  he  built  and  governed, 
near  Albi. 

Reflection. — "  Alms  shall  be  a  great  confidence  before  the 
Most  High  God  to  them  that  give  it.  Water  quencheth  a  flaming 
fire,  and  alms  resisteth  sin." 


^^^2  ANCTITY  and  learning  raised  Bonaventure  to  the  Church's 
JkS)  highest  honors,  and  from  a  child  he  was  the  companion  of 
Saints.  Yet  at  heart  he  was  ever  the  poor  Franciscan  friar, 
and  practised  and  taught  humility  and  mortification.  St.  Francis 
gave  him  his  name ;  for,  having  miraculously  cured  him  of  a 
mortal  sickness,  he  prophetically  exclaimed  of  the  child,  "  O  bona 





ventura  !" — good  luck.  He  is  known  also  as  the  "  Seraphic  Doc- 
tor," from  the  fervor  of  divine  love  which  breathes  in  his  writings. 
He  was  the  friend  of  St.  Thomas  Aquinas,  who  asked  him  one  day 
whence  he  drew  his  great  learning.  He  replied  by  pointing  to  his 
crucifix.  At  another  time,  St.  Thomas  found  him  in  ecstasy  while 
writing  the  life  of  St.  Francis,  and  exclaimed,  "Let  us  leave  a 
Saint  to  write  of  a  Saint."  They  received  the  Doctor's  cap  to- 
gether. He  was  the  guest  and  adviser  of  St.  Louis,  and  the 
director  of  St.  Isabella,  the  king's  sister.  At  the  age  of  thirty- 
five,  he  was  made  general  of  his  Order ;  and  only  escaped  another 
dignity,  the  Archbishopric  of  York,  by  dint  of  tears  and  en- 
treaties. Gregory  X.  appointed  him  Cardinal  Bishop  of  Albano. 
When  the  Saint  heard  of  the  Pope's  resolve  to  create  him  a  Car- 
dinal, he  quietly  made  his  escape  from  Italy.  But  Gregory  sent 
him  a  summons  to  return  to  Rome.  On  his  way,  he  stopped  to  rest 
himself  at  a  convent  of  his  Order  near  Florence;  and  there  two 
Papal  messengers,  sent  to  meet  him  with  the  Cardinal's  hat,  found 
him  washing  the  dishes.  The  Saint  desired  them  to  hang  the  hat 
on  a  bush  that  was  near,  and  take  a  walk  in  the  garden  until  he 
had  finished  what  he  was  about.  Then  taking  up  the  hat  with  un- 
feigned sorrow,  he  joined  the  messengers,  and  paid  them  the  re- 
spect due  to  their  character.  He  sat  at  the  Pontiff's  right  hand, 
and  spoke  first  at  the  Council  of  Lyons.    His  piety  and  eloquence 



[July  15. 

won  over  the  Greeks  to  Catholic  union,  and  then  his  strength 
failed.  He  died  while  the  Council  was  sitting,  and  was  buried  by 
the  assembled  bishops,  a.d.  1274. 

Reflection. — "The  fear  of  God,"  says  St.  Bonaventure,  "for- 
bids a  man  to  give  his  heart  to  transitory  things,  which  are  the 
true  seeds  of  sin." 



j  ENRY,  Duke  of  Bavaria,  saw  in  a  vision  his  guardian,  St. 
Wolfgang,  pointing  to  the  words  "  after  six."  This  moved 
him  to  prepare  for  death,  and  for  six  years  he  continued  to 
watch  and  pray,  when,  at  the  end  of  the  sixth  year,  he  found  the 
warning  verified  in  his  election  as  emperor.  Thus  trained  in  the  fear 
of  God,  he  ascended  the  throne  with  but  one  thought — to  reign 
for  His  greater  glory.  The  pagan  Slaves  were  then  despoiling  the 
empire.  Henry  attacked  them  with  a  small  force ;  but  angels  and 
Saints  were  seen  leading  his  troops,  and  the  heathen  fled  in  despair. 
Poland  and  Bohemia,  Moravia  and  Burgundy,  were  in  turn  an- 

nexed to  his  kingdom,  Pannonia  and  Hungary  won  to  the  Church. 
With  the  faith  secured  in  Germany,  Henry  passed  into  Italv,  drove 
out  the  Antipope  Gregory,  brought  Benedict  VIII.  back  to  Rome, 

July  16.] 



and  was  crowned  in  St.  Peter's  by  that  Pontiff,  in  1014.  It  was 
Henry's  custom,  on  arriving  in  any  town,  to  spend  his  first  night 
in  watching  in  some  church  dedicated  to  our  Blessed  Lady.  As 
he  was  thus  praying  in  St.  Mary  Major's,  the  first  night  of  his  ar- 
rival in  Rome,  he  "  saw  the  Sovereign  and  Eternal  Priest  Christ 
Jesus"  enter  to  say  Mass.  SS.  Laurence  and  Vincent  assisted  as 
deacon  and  sub-deacon.  Saints  innumerable  filled  the  church,  and 
angels  sang  in  the  choir.  After  the  Gospel,  an  angel  was  sent  by 
our  Lady  to  give  Henry  the  book  to  kiss.  Touching  him  lightly  on 
the  thigh,  as  the  angel  did  to  Jacob,  he  said,  "  Accept  this  sign  of 
God's  love  for  your  chastity  and  justice ;"  and  from  that  time  the 
emperor  always  was  lame.  Like  holy  David,  Henry  employed  the 
fruits  of  his  conquests  in  the  service  of  the  temple.  The  forests 
and  mines  of  the  empire,  the  best  that  his  treasury  could  produce, 
were  consecrated  to  the  sanctuary.  Stately  cathedrals,  noble  mon- 
asteries, churches  innumerable,  enlightened  and  sanctified  the  once 
heathen  lands.  In  1022,  Henry  lay  on  his  bed  of  death.  He  gave 
back  to  her  parents  his  wife,  St.  Cunegunda,  "a  virgin  still,  as  a 
virgin  he  had  received  her  from  Christ,"  and  surrendered  his  own 
pure  soul  to  God. 

Reflection. — St.  Henry  deprived  himself  of  many  things  to 
enrich  the  house  of  God.  We  clothe  ourselves  in  purple  and  fine 
linen,  and  leave  Jesus  in  poverty  and  neglect. 

S)  home  when  he  was  but  twelve  years  of  age,  to  live  as  a  her- 

mit in  the  hollow  trunk  of  a  tree,  whence  he  was  known  as 
Simon  of  the  Stock.  Here  he  passed  twenty  years  in  penance  and 
prayer,  and  learned  from  our  Lady  that  he  was  to  join  an  Order 
not  then  known  in  England.  He  waited  in  patience  till  the  White 
Friars  came,  and  then  entered  the  Order  of  our  Lady  of  Mount 
Carmel.  His  great  holiness  moved  his  brethren  in  the  general 
chapter  held  at  Aylesford,  near  Rochester,  in  1245,  to  choose  him 
prior-general  of  the  Order.  In  the  many  persecutions  raised 
against  the  new  religious,  Simon  went  with  filial  confidence  to  the 
Blessed  Mother  of  God.  As  he  knelt  in  prayer  in  the  White 
Friars'  convent  at  Cambridge,  on  July  16th,  1251,  she  appeared  be- 
fore him  and  presented  him  with  the  scapular,  in  assurance  of  her 
protection.    The  devotion  to  the  blessed  habit  spread  quickly 


England,  and  left  his 

316  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [July  1 6. 

throughout  the  Christian  world.  Pope  after  Pope  enriched  it 
with  indulgences,  and  miracles  innumerable  put  their  seal  upon 
its  efficacy.  The  first  of  them  was  worked  at  Winchester  on  a 
man  dying  in  despair,  who  at  once  asked  for  the  Sacraments,  when 
the  scapular  was  laid  upon  him  by  St.  Simon  Stock.  In  the  year 
1636,  M.  de  Guge,  a  cornet  in  a  cavalry  regiment,  was  mortally 
wounded  at  the  engagement  of  Tehin,  a  bullet  having  lodged  near 
his  heart.  He  was  then  in  a  state  of  grievous  sin,  but  had  time 
left  him  to  make  his  confession,  and  with  his  own  hands  wrote  his 
last  testament.  When  this  was  done,  the  surgeon  probed  his  wound, 
and  the  bullet  was  found  to  have  driven  his  scapular  into  his  heart. 
On  its  being  withdrawn,  he  presently  expired,  making  profound 
acts  of  gratitude  to  the  Blessed  Virgin,  who  had  prolonged  his 
life  miraculously,  and  thus  preserved  him  from  eternal  death.  St. 
Simon  Stock  died  at  Bordeaux,  a.d.  1265. 

Reflection. — To  enjoy  the  privileges  of  the  scapular,  it  is  suf- 
ficient that  it  be  received  lawfully  and  worn  devoutly.  How, 
then,  can  any  one  fail  to  profit  by  a  devotion  so  easy,  so  simple, 
and  so  wonderfully  blessed  ?  "  He  that  shall  overcome,  shall  thus 
be  clothed  in  white  garments,  and  I  will  not  blot  out  his  name 
out  of  the  book  of  life,  and  I  will  confess  his  name  before  My 
Father  and  before  His  angels."    (Apoc.  3:5.) 

July  17.] 




y(5^T.  ALEXIUS  was  the  only  son  of  parents  pre-eminent  among 
V^S)  the  Roman  nobles  for  virtue,  birth,  and  wealth.  On  his 
wedding-night,  by  God's  special  inspiration,  he  secretly 
quitted  Rome,  and  journeying  to  Edessa,  in  the  far  East,  gave 
away  all  that  he  had  brought  with  him,  content  thenceforth  to  live 
on  alms  at  the  gate  of  our  Lady's  Church  in  that  city.  It  came  to 
pass  that  the  servants  of  St.  Alexius,  whom  his  father  sent  in  search 
of  him,  arrived  at  Edessa,  and  seeing  him  among  the  poor  at  the 
gate  of  our  Lady's  Church,  gave  him  an  alms,  not  recognizing 
him.  Whereupon  the  man  of  God,  rejoicing,  said,  "  I  thank  Thee, 
O  Lord,  who  hast  called  me  and  granted  that  I  should  receive  for 
Thy  name's  sake  an  alms  from  my  own  slaves.  Deign  to  fulfil  in 
me  the  work  Thou  hast  begun."  After  seventeen  years,  when  his 
sanctity  was  miraculously  manifested  by  the  Blessed  Virgin's 
image,  he  once  more  sought  obscurity  by  flight.  On  his  way  to 
Tarsus,  contrary  winds  drove  his  ship  to  Rome.  There  no  one 
recognized  in  the  wan  and  tattered  mendicant  the  heir  of  Rome's 
noblest  house ;  not  even  his  sorrowing  parents,  who  had  vainly 
sent  throughout  the  world  in  search  of  him.  From  his  father's 
charity  he  begged  a  mean  corner  of  his  palace  as  a  shelter,  and 
the  leavings  of  his  table  as  food.    Thus  he  spent  seventeen  years, 



[July  i8» 

bearing  patiently  the  mockery  and  ill-usage  of  his  own  slaves, 
and  witnessing  daily  the  inconsolable  grief  of  his  spouse  and 
parents.  At  last,  when  death  had  ended  this  cruel  martyrdom,  they 
learned  too  late,  from  a  writing  in  his  own  hand,  who  it  was  that 
they  had-  unknowingly  sheltered.  God  bore  testimony  to  His 
servant's  sanctity  by  many  miracles.    He  died  early  in  the  fifth 

Reflection. — We  must  always  be  ready  to  sacrifice  our  dearest 
and  best  natural  affections  in  obedience  to  the  call  of  our 
Heavenly  Father.  "  Call  none  your  father  upon  earth,  for  one  is 
your  Father  in  Heaven"  (Matt.  23  :  9).  Oar  Lord  has  taught  us 
this  not  by  words  only,  but  by  His  own  example  and  by  that  of 
His  Saints. 


HE  early  years  of  Camilius  gave  no  sign  of  sanctity.    At  the 

age  of  nineteen,  he  took  service  with  his  father,  an  Italian 

noble,  against  the  Turks,  and  after  four  years'  hard  cam- 
paigning found  himself,  through  his  violent  temper,  reckless 
habits,  and  inveterate  passion  for  gambling,  a  discharged  sol- 
dier, and  in  such  straitened  circumstances  that  he  was  obliged 
to  work  as  a  laborer  on  a  Capuchin  convent  which  was  then 
building.  A  few  words  from  a  Capuchin  friar  brought  about 
his  conversion,  and  he  resolved  to  become  a  religious.  Thrice 
he  entered  the  Capuchin  novitiate,  but  each  time  an  obstinate 
wound  in  his  leg  forced  him  to  leave.  He  repaired  to  Rome 
for  medical  treatment,  and  there  took  St.  Philip  as  his  confessor, 
and  entered  the  hospital  of  St.  Giacomo,  of  which  he  became  in 
time  the  superintendent.  The  carelessness  of  the  paid  chaplains 
and  nurses  towards  the  suffering  patients  now  inspired  him  with 
the  thought  of  founding  a  congregation  to  minister  to  their  wants. 
With  this  end  he  was  ordained  priest,  and  in  1586  his  community 
of  the  Servants  of  the  Sick  was  confirmed  by  the  Pope.  Its  useful- 
ness was  soon  felt,  not  only  in  hospitals,  but  in  private  houses. 
Summoned  at  every  hour  of  the  day  and  night,  the  devotion  of 
Camilius  never  grew  cold.  With  a  woman's  tenderness,  he 
attended  to  the  needs  of  his  patients.  He  wept  with  them,  con- 
soled them,  and  prayed  with  them.  He  knew  miraculously  the 
state  of  their  souls  ;  and  St.  Philip  saw  angels  whispering  to  two 
Servants  of  the  Sick  who  were  consoling  a  dying  person.  One 


JULY  19.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  319 

day,  a  sick  man  said  to  the  Saint,  "  Father,  may  I  beg  you  to  make 
up  my  bed?  it  is  very  hard."  Camillus  replied,  "God  forgive 
you,  brother!  You  beg  me  !  Don't  you  know  yet  that  you  are  to 
command  me,  for  I  am  your  servant  and  slave?"  "  Would  to 
God,"  he  would  cry,  "  that  in  the  hour  of  my  death  one  sigh  or 
one  blessing  of  these  poor  creatures  might  fall  upon  me!"  His 
prayer  was  heard.  He  was  granted  the  same  consolations  in  his 
last  hour  which  he  had  so  often  procured  for  others.  In  the  year 
1614  he  died  with  the  full  use  of  his  faculties,  after  two  weeks' 
saintly  preparation,  as  the  priest  was  reciting  the  words  of  the 
ritual,  "  May  Jesus  Christ  appear  to  thee  with  a  mild  and  joyful 
countenance  !" 

Reflection. — St.  Camillus  venerated  the  sick  as  living  images 
of  Christ,  and  by  ministering  to  them  in  this  spirit  did  penance 
for  the  sins  of  his  youth,  led  a  life  precious  in  merit,  and  from  a 
violent  and  quarrelsome  soldier  became  a  gentle  and  tender 


T.  VINCENT  was  born  a.d.   1576.    In  after-years,  when 
adviser  of  the  Queen  and  oracle  of  the  Church  in  France, 
he  loved  to  recount  how,  in  his  youth,  he  had  guarded  his 
fathers  pigs.    Soon  after  his  ordination,  he  was  captured  by 



[July  19. 

Corsairs,  and  carried  into  Barbary.  He  converted  his  renegade 
master,  and  escaped  with  him  to  France.  Appointed  chaplain- 
general  of  the  galleys  of  France,  his  tender  charity  brought  hope 
into  those  prisons  where  hitherto  despair  had  reigned.  A  mother 
mourned  her  imprisoned  son.  Vincent  put  on  his  chains  and 
took  his  place  at  the  oar,  and  gave  him  to  his  mother.  His  char- 
ity embraced  the  poor,  young  and  old,  provinces  desolated  by 
civil  war,  Christians  enslaved  by  the  infidel.  The  poor  man, 
ignorant  and  degraded,  was  to  him  the- image  of  Him  who  became 
as  "  a  leper  and  no  man."    "  Turn  the  medal,"  he  said,  "and  you 

then  will  see  Jesus  Christ."  He  went  through  the  streets  of  Paris 
at  night,  seeking  the  children  who  were  left  there  to  die.  Once 
robbers  rushed  upon  him,  thinking  he  carried  a  treasure,  but  when 
he  opened  his  cloak,  they  recognized  him  and  his  burden,  and  fell 
.at  his  feet.  Not  only  was  St.  Vincent  the  saviour  of  the  poor, 
but  also  of  the  rich,  for  he  taught  them  to  do  works  of  mercy. 
When  the  work  for  the  foundlings  was  in  danger  of  failing 
from  want  of  funds,  he  assembled  the  ladies  of  the  Asso- 
ciation of  Charity.  He  bade  his  most  fervent  daughters  be  pres- 
ent to  give  the  spur  to  the  others.  Then  he  said,  "  Compassion 
.and  charity  have  made  you  adopt  these  little  creatures  as  your 
children.  You  have  been  their  mothers  according  to  grace,  when 
their  own  mothers  abandoned  them.    Cease  to  be  their  mothers, 

July  20.] 



that  you  may  become  their  judges  ;  their  life  and  death  are  in  your 
hands.  I  shall  now  take  your  votes  :  it  is  time  to  pronounce  sen- 
tence." The  tears  of  the  assembly  were  his  only  answer,  and  the 
work  was  continued.  The  Society  of  St.  Vincent,  the  Priests  of 
the  Mission,  and  25,000  Sisters  of  Charity  still  comfort  the  afflicted 
with  the  charity  of  St.  Vincent  of  Paul.    He  died  a.d.  1660. 

Reflection. — Most  people  who  profess  piety  ask  advice  of 
directors  about  their  prayers  and  spiritual  exercises.  Few  inquire 
whether  they  are  not  in  danger  of  damnation  from  neglect  of 
works  of  charity. 


CCORDING  to  the  ancient  Martyrologies,  St.  Margaret 
suffered  at  Antioch  in  Pisidia,  in  the  last  general  persecu- 
tion. She  is  said  to  have  been  instructed  in  the  faith  by  a 
Christian  nurse,  to  have  been  prosecuted  by  her  own  father,  a 
pagan  priest,  and,  after  many  torments,  to  have  gloriously  fin- 

ished her  martyrdom  by  the  sword.  From  the  East,  her  veneration 
was  exceedingly  propagated  in  England,  France,  and  Germany,  in 
the  eleventh  century,  during  the  holy  wars.  Her  body  is  now 
kept  at  Monte-Fiascone,  in  Tuscany. 



[July  21. 


T.  JEROME  EMILIANI  was  a  member  of  one  of  the  patri- 
cian families  of  Venice,  and,  like  many  other  Saints,  in  early 
life  a  soldier.  He  was  appointed  governor  of  a  fortress 
among  the  mountains  of  Treviso,  and  whilst  bravely  defending 
his  post,  was  made  prisoner  by  the  enemy.  In  the  misery  of  his 
dungeon,  he  invoked  the  great  Mother  of  God,  and  promised,  if 
she  would  set  him  free,  to  lead  a  new  and  a  better  life.  Our  Lady 
appeared,  broke  his  fetters,  and  led  him  forth  through  the  midst 
of  his  enemies.  At  Treviso  he  hung  up  his  chains  at  her  altar, 
dedicated  himself  to  her  service,  and  on  reaching  his  home  at 
Venice,  devoted  himself  to  a  life  of  active  charity.  His  special 
love  was  for  the  deserted  orphan  children  whom,  in  the  times  of 
the  plague  and  famine,  he  found  wandering  in  the  streets.  He 
took  them  home,  clothed  and  fed  them,  and  taught  them  the  Chris- 
tian truths.  From  Venice  he  passed  to  Padua  and  Verona,  and 
in  a  few  years  had  founded  orphanages  through  Northern  Italy. 
Some  pious  clerics  and  laymen,  who  had  been  his  fellow-workers, 
fixed  their  abode  in  one  of  these  establishments,  and  devoted 
themselves  to  the  cause  of  education.  The  Saint  drew  up  for 
them  a  rule  of  life,  and  thus  was  founded  the  Congregation,  which 
still  exists,  of  the  Clerks  Regular  of  Somascha.  St.  Jerome  died 
February  8th,  1537,  of  an  illness  which  he  had  caught  in  visiting 
the  sick. 

Reflection. — Let  us  learn  from  St.  Jerome  to  exert  ourselves 
in  behalf  of  the  many  hundred  children  whose  souls  are  perishing 
around  us  for  want  of  some  one  to  show  them  the  way  to  heaven. 


tHE  Emperor  Maximian,  reeking  with  the  blood  of  the  The- 
bsean  legion  and  many  other  martyrs,  arrived  at  Marseilles, 
where  the  Church  then  flourished.  The  tyrant  breathed 
here  nothing  but  slaughter  and  fury,  and  his  coming  filled  the 
Christians  with  fear  and  alarm.  In  this  general  consternation, 
Victor,  a  Christian  officer  in  the  troops,  went  about  in  the  night- 
time from  house  to  house,  visiting  the  faithful  and  inspiring 
them  with  contempt  of  a  temporal  death  and  the  love  of  eternal 
life.  He  was  surprised  in  this,  and  brought  before  the  prefects 
Asterius  and  Eutychius,  who  exhorted  him  not  to  lose  the  fruit 

July  21.] 



of  all  his  services  and  the  favor  of  his  prince  for  the  worship 
of  a  dead  man,  as  they  called  Jesus  Christ.  He  answered  that 
he  renounced  those  recompenses  if  he  could  not  enjoy  them  with- 
out being  unfaithful  to  Jesus  Christ,  the  eternal  Son  of  God,  who 
vouchsafed  to  become  man  for  our  salvation,  but  who  raised 
Himself  from  the  dead,  and  reigns  with  the  Father,  being  God 
equally  with  him.  The  whole  court  heard  him  with  shouts  of 
rage.  Victor  was  bound  hand  and  foot  and  dragged  through 
the  streets  of  the  city,  exposed  to  the  blows  and  insults  of  the 
populace.    He  was  brought  back  bruised   and   bloody  to  the 

tribunal  of  the  prefects,  who,  thinking  his  resolution  must  have 
been  weakened  by  his  sufferings,  pressed  him  again  to  adore 
their  gods.  But  the  martyr,  filled  with  the  Holy  Ghost,  ex- 
pressed his  respect  for  the  emperor  and  his  contempt  for  their 
gods.  He  was  then  hoisted  on  the  rack  and  tortured  a  long 
time,  until,  the  tormentors  being  at  last  weary,  the  prefect  ordered 
him  to  be  taken  down  and  thrown  into  a  dark  dungeon.  At 
midnight,  God  visited  him  by  his  angels ;  the  prison  was  filled 
with  a  light  brighter  than  that  of  the  sun,  and  the  martyr  sung 
with  the  angels  the  praises  of  God.  Three  soldiers  who  guarded 
the  prison,  seeing  this  light,  cast  themselves  at  the  martyr's  feet, 
asked  his  pardon,  and  desired  baptism.  Victor  instructed  them  as 
well  as  time  would  permit,  sent  for  priests  the  same  night,  and, 



[July  22. 

going  with  them  to  the  seaside,  had  them  baptized,  and  returned 
with  them  again  to  his  prison.  The  next  morning,  Maximian  was 
informed  of  the  conversion  of  the  guards,  and,  in  a  transport  of 
rage,  sent  officers  to  bring  them  all  four  before  him.  The  three 
soldiers  persevered  in  the  confession  of  Jesus  Christ,  and,  by  the 
emperor's  orders,  were  forthwith  beheaded.  Victor,  after  having 
been  exposed  to  the  insults  of  the  whole  city  and  been  beaten 
with  clubs  and  scourged  with  leather  thongs,  was  carried  back  to 
prison,  where  he  continued  three  days,  recommending  to  God  his 
martyrdom  with  many  tears.  After  that  term,  the  emperor  called 
him  again  before  his  tribunal,  and  commanded  the  martyr  to 
offer  incense  to  a  statue  of  Jupiter.  Victor  went  up  to  the 
profane  altar,  and  by  a  kick  of  his  foot  threw  it  down.  The 
emperor  ordered  the  foot  to  be  forthwith  chopped  off,  which  the 
Saint  suffered  with  great  joy,  offering  to  God  these  first-fruits  of 
his  body.  A  few  moments  after,  the  emperor  condemned  him  to 
be  put  under  the  grindstone  of  a  hand-mill  and  crushed  to  death. 
The  executioners  turned  the  wheel,  and  when  part  of  his  body 
was  bruised  and  crushed,  the  mill  broke  down.  The  Saint  still 
breathed  a  little,  but  his  head  was  immediately  ordered  to  be  cut 
off.  His  and  the  other  three  bodies  were  thrown  into  the  sea,  but, 
being  cast  ashore,  were  buried  by  the  Christians  in  a  grotto  hewn 
out  of  a  rock. 

F  the  earlier  life  of  Mary  Magdalen,  we  know  only  that  she 

degradation,  she  raised  her  eyes  to  Jesus  with  sorrow,  hope, 
and  love.  All  covered  with  shame,  she  came  in  where  Jesus  was 
at  meat,  and  knelt  behind  Him.  She  said  not  a  word,  but  bathed 
His  feet  with  her  tears,  wiped  them  with  the  hair  of  her  head, 
kissed  them  in  humility,  and  at  their  touch  her  sins  and  her  stain 
were  gone.  Then  she  poured  on  them  the  costly  unguent  pre- 
pared for  far  other  uses  ;  and  His  own  divine  lips  rolled  away  her 
reproach,  spoke  her  absolution,  and  bade  her  go  in  peace.  Thence- 
forward she  ministered  to  Jesus,  sat  at  His  feet,  and  heard  His 
words.  She  was  one  of  the  family  "  whom  Jesus  so  loved  "  that 
He  raised  her  brother  Lazarus  from  the  dead.  Once  again,  on  the 
eve  of  His  Passion,  she  brought  the  precious  ointment,  and,  now 
purified  and  beloved,  poured  it  on  His  head,  and  the  whole  house 
of  God  is  still  filled  with  the  fragrance  of  her  anointing.  She 


From  the  depth  of  her 

July  23.] 



stood  with  our  Lady  and  St.  John  at  the  foot  of  the  Cross,  the 
representative  of  the  many  who  have  had  much  forgiven.  To  her 
first,  after  His  Blessed  Mother,  and  through  her  to  His  Apostles, 
our  Lord  gave  the  certainty  of  His  Resurrection ;  and  to  her  first 
He  made  Himself  known,  calling  her  by  her  name,  because  she 
was  His.  When  the  faithful  were  scattered  by  persecution,  the 
family  of  Bethany  found  refuge  in  Provence.  The  cave  in  which 
St.  Mary  lived  for  thirty  years  is  still  seen,  and  the  chapel  on  the 
mountain-top,  in  which  she  was  caught  up  daily,  like  St.  Paul,  to 
"  visions  and  revelations  of  the  Lord."  When  her  end  drew  near, 
she  was  borne  to  a  spot  still  marked  by  a  "  sacred  pillar,"  where 
the  holy  Bishop  Maximin  awaited  her;  and  when  she  had  received 
her  Lord,  she  peacefully  fell  asleep  in  death. 

Reflection. — "  Compunction  of  heart,"  says  St.  Bernard,  "  is 
a  treasure  infinitely  to  be  desired,  and  an  unspeakable  gladness  to 
the  heart.  It  is  healing  to  the  soul ;  it  is  remission  of  sins  ;  it  brings 
back  again  the  Holy  Spirit  into  the  humble  and  loving  heart." 


T.  APOLLINARIS  was  the  first  Bishop  of  Ravenna;  he  sat 
twenty  years,  and  was  crowned  with  martyrdom  in  the  reign 
of  Vespasian.    He  was  a  disciple  of  St.  Peter,  and  made  by 
him  Bishop  of  Ravenna.    St.  Peter  Chrysologus,  the  most  illus- 



[July  23. 

trious  among  his  successors,  has  left  us  a  sermon  in  honor  of  our 
Saint,  in  which  he  often  styles  him  a  martyr ;  but  adds,  that 
though  he  frequently  suffered  for  the  faith,  and  ardently  desired 
to  lay  down  his  life  for  Christ,  yet  God  preserved  him  a  long 
time  to  His  Church,  and  did  not  allow  the  persecutors  to  take 
away  his  life.  So  he  seems  to  have  been  a  martyr  only  by  the 
torments  he  endured  for  Christ,  which  he  survived  at  least  some 
days.  His  body  lay  first  at  Classis,  four  miles  from  Ravenna., 
still  a  kind  of  suburb  to  that  city,  and  its  seaport  till  it  was 
choked  up  by  the  sands.    In  the  year  549,  his  relics  were  removed 

into  a  more  secret  vault  in  the  same  church.  St.  Fortunatus  ex- 
horted his  friends  to  make  pilgrimages  to  the  tomb,  and  St.  Greg- 
ory the  Great  ordered  parties  in  doubtful  suits  at  law  to  be  sworn 
before  it.  Pope  Honorius  built  a  church  under  the  name  of 
Apollinaris  in  Rome,  about  the  year  630.  It  occurs  in  all  martyr- 
ologies,  and  the  high  veneration  which  the  Church  paid  early  to 
his  memory  is  a  sufficient  testimony  of  his  eminent  sanctity  and 
apostolic  spirit. 

Reflection. — The  virtue  of  the  Saints  was  true  and  heroic,  be- 
cause humble  and  proof  against  all  trials.  Persevere  in  your 
good  resolutions;  it  is  not  enough  to  begin  well,  you  must  so 
continue  to  the  end. 

July  24.] 




^^T.  CHRISTINA  was  the  daughter  of  a  rich  and  powerful 
magistrate  named  Urbain.  Her  father,  who  was  deep  in  the 
practices  of  heathenism,  had  a  number  of  golden  idols,  which 
our  Saint  destroyed  and  distributed  the  pieces  among  the  poor. 
Infuriated  by  this  act,  Urbain  became  the  persecutor  of  his  daugh- 
ter;  he  had  her  whipped  with  rods  and  then  thrown  into  a  dun- 
geon. Christina  remained  unshaken  in  her  faith.  Her  tormentor 
then  had  her  body  torn  by  iron  hooks,  and  fastened  her  to  a  rack 
beneath  which  a  fire  was  kindled.    But  God  watched  over  His 

servant  and  turned  the  flames  upon  the  lookers-on.  Christina 
was  next  seized,  a  heavy  stone  tied  about  her  neck,  and  she 
was  thrown  into  the  lake  of  Bolsena,  but  she  was  saved  by  an 
angel,  and  outlived  her  father,  who  died  of  spite.  Later,  this 
martyr  suffered  the  most  inhuman  torments  under  the  judge  who 
succeeded  her  father,  and  finally  was  thrown  into  a  burning  fur- 
nace, where  she  remained,  unhurt,  for  five  days.  By  the  power  of 
Christ,  she  overcame  the  serpents  among  which  she  was  thrown ; 
then  her  tongue  was  cut  out,  and  afterwards,  being  pierced  with 
arrows,  she  gained  the  martyr's  crown  at  Tyro,  a  city  which  for- 
merly stood  on  an  island  in  the  lake  of  Bolsena,  in  Italy,  but  was 
long  since  swallowed  up  by  the  waters.  Her  relics  are  now  at 
Palermo,  in  Sicily. 



[July  25. 


tMONG  the  twelve,  three  were  chosen  as  the  familiar  com- 
panions of  our  Blessed  Lord,  and  of  these  James  was  one. 
He  alone,  with  Peter  and  John,  was  admitted  to  the  house 
of  Jairus  when  the  dead  maiden  was  raised  to  life.  They  alone 
were  taken  up  to  the  high  mountain  apart,  and  saw  the  face  of 
Jesus  shining  as  the  sun,  and  His  garments  white  as  snow  ;  and 
these  three  alone  witnessed  the  fearful  agony  in  Gethsemane. 
What  was  it  that  won  James  a  place  among  the  favorite  three  ? 
Faith,  burning,  impetuous,  and  outspoken,  but  which  needed  puri- 
fying before  the  "Son  of  Thunder"  could  proclaim  the  gospel  of 
peace.  It  was  James  who  demanded  fire  from  heaven  to  consume 
the  inhospitable  Samaritans,  and  who  sought  the  place  of  honor 
by  Christ  in  His  kingdom.  Yet  our  Lord,  in  rebuking  his  pre- 
sumption, prophesied  his  faithfulness  to  death.  When  St. 
James  was  brought  before  King  Herod  Agrippa,  his  fearless 
confession  of  Jesus  crucified  so  moved  the  public  prosecutor  that 
he  declared  himself  a  Christian  on  the  spot.  Accused  and  accuser 
were  hurried  off  together  to  execution,  and  on  the  road  the  latter 
begged  pardon  of  the  Saint.  The  Apostle  had  long  since  forgiven 
him,  but  hesitated  for  a  moment  whether  publicly  to  accept  as  a 
brother  one  still  unbaptized.    God  quickly  recalled  to  him  the 

July  26.] 



Church's  faith,  that  the  blood  of  martyrdom  supplies  for  every 
sacrament,  and,  falling  on  his  companion's  neck,  he  embraced  him, 
with  the  words,  "  Peace  be  with  thee!"  Together  then  they  knelt 
for  the  sword,  and  together  received  the  crown. 

Reflection. — We  must  all  desire  a  place  in  the  kingdom  of 
our  Father ;  but  can  we  drink  the  chalice  which  He  holds  out  to 
each?  Possumns,  we  must  say  with  St.  James — "We  can" — but 
only  in  the  strength  of  Him  who  has  drunk  it  first  for  us. 

JULY  26.— ST.  ANNE.  ' 

\G?  T.  ANNE  was  the  spouse  of  St.  Joachim,  and  was  chosen  by 
V«S)  God  to  be  the  mother  of  Mary,  His  own  Blessed  Mother  on 
earth.  They  were  both  of  the  royal  house  of  David,  and 
their  lives  were  wholly  occupied  in  prayer  and  good  works.  One 
thing  only  was  wanting  to  their  union — they  were  childless,  and 
this  was  held  as  a  bitter  misfortune  among  the  Jews.  At  length, 
when  Anne  was  an  aged  woman,  Mary  was  born,  the  fruit  rather 

of  grace  than  of  nature,  and  the  child  more  of  God  than  of  man. 
With  the  birth  of  Mary  the  aged  Anne  began  a  new  life :  she 
watched  her  every  movement  with  reverent  tenderness,  and  felt 
herself  hourly  sanctified  by  the  presence  of  her  immaculate  child. 



[July  27. 

But  she  had  vowed  her  daughter  to  God,  to  God  Mary  had  conse- 
crated herself  again,  and  to  Him  Anne  gave  her  back.  Mary  was 
three  years  old  when  Anne  and  Joachim  led  her  up  the  Temple 
steps,  saw  her  pass  by  herself  into  the  inner  sanctuary,  and  then 
saw  her  no  more.  Thus  was  Anne  left  childless  in  her  lone  old 
age,  and  deprived  of  her  purest  earthly  joy  just  when  she  needed 
it  most.  She  humbly  adored  the  Divine  Will,  and  began  again  to 
watch  and  pray,  till  God  called  her  to  unending  rest  with  the  Fa- 
ther and  the  Spouse  of  Mary  in  the  home  of  Mary's  Child. 

Reflection. — St.  Anne  is  glorious  among  the  Saints,  not  only 
as  the  mother  of  Mary,  but  because  she  gave  Mary  to  God.  Learn 
from  her  to  reverence  a  divine  vocation  as  the  highest  privilege, 
and  to  sacrifice  every  natural  tie,  however  holy,  at  the  call  of  God. 


T.  PANTALEON  was  physician  to  the  Emperor  Galerius 
Maximianus,  and  a  Christian,  but,  deceived  by  often  hear- 
ing the  false  maxims  of  the  world  applauded,  was  unhap- 
pily seduced  into  an  apostasy.    But  a  zealous  Christian  called 


Hermolaus  awakened  his  conscience  to  a  sense  of  his  guilt, 
and  brought  him  again  into  the  fold  of  the  Church.  The  peni- 
tent ardently  wished  to  expiate  his  crime  by  martyrdom  ;  and  to 

July  28.] 



prepare  himself  for  the  conflict,  when  Diocletian's  bloody  per- 
secution broke  out  at  Nicomedia,  in  303,  he  distributed  all  his  pos- 
sessions among  the  poor.  Not  long  after  this  action,  he  was 
taken  up,  and  in  his  house  were  also  apprehended  Hermolaus, 
Hermippus,  and  Hermocrates.  After  suffering  many  torments, 
they  were  all  condemned  to  lose  their  heads.  St.  Pantaleon  suf- 
fered the  day  after  the  rest.  His  relics  were  translated  to  Con- 
stantinople, and  there  kept  with  great  honor.  The  greatest  part 
of  them  are  now  shown  in  the  abbey  of  St.  Denys  near  Paris,  but 
his  head  is  at  Lyons. 

Reflection. — "  With  the  elect  thou  shalt  be  elect,  and  with  the 
perverse  wilt  be  perverted." 


\§^T.  NAZARIUS'S  father  was  a  heathen,  and  held  a  consider- 
V«S)  able  post  in  the  Roman  army.    His  mother,  Perpetua,  was  a 
zealous  Christian,  and  was  instructed  by  St.  Peter,  or  his 
disciples,  in  the  most  perfect  maxims  of  our  holy  faith.  Nazarius 

embraced  it  with  so  much  ardor  that  he  copied  in  his  life  all  the 
great  virtues  he  saw  in  his  teachers ;  and  out  of  zeal  for  the  salva- 
tion of  others,  he  left  Rome,  his  native  city,  and  preached  the  faith 
in  many  places  with  a  fervor  and  disinterestedness  becoming  a 



[July  29. 

disciple  of  the  Apostles.  Arriving  at  Milan,  he  was  there  behead- 
ed for  the  faith,  together  with  Celsus,  a  youth  whom  he  carried 
with  him  to  assist  him  in  his  travels.  These  martyrs  suffered  soon 
after  Nero  had  raised  the  first  persecution.  Their  bodies  were 
buried  separately  in  a  garden  without  the  city,  where  they  were 
discovered  and  taken  up  by  St.  Ambrose,  in  395.  In  the  tomb 
of  St.  Nazarius,  a  vial  of  the  Saint's  blood  was  found  as  fresh 
and  red  as  if  it  had  been  spilt  that  day.  The  faithful  stained 
handkerchiefs  with  some  drops,  and  also  formed  a  certain  paste 
with  it,  a  portion  of  which  St.  Ambrose  sent  to  St.  Gaudentius, 
Bishop  of  Brescia.  St.  Ambrose  conveyed  the  bodies  of  the  two 
martyrs  into  the  new  church  of  the  apostles,  which  he  had  just 
built.  A  woman  was  delivered  of  an  evil  spirit  in  their  presence. 
St.  Ambrose  sent  some  of  these  relics  to  St.  Paulinus  of  Nola, 
who  received  them,  with  great  respect,  as  a  most  valuable  present, 
as  he  testifies. 

Reflection. — The  martyrs  died  as  the  outcasts  of  the  world, 
but  are  crowned  by  God  with  immortal  honor.  The  glory  of  the 
world  is  false  and  transitory,  and  an  empty  bubble  or  shadow,  but 
that  of  virtue  is  true,  solid,  and  permanent,  even  in  the  eyes  of 

I^T.  JOHN  tells  us  that  "  Jesus  loved  Martha  and  Mary  and  La- 

zarus," and  yet  but  few  glimpses  are  vouchsafed  us  of  them. 

First,  the  sisters  are  set  before  us  with  a  word.  Martha 
received  Jesus  into  her  house,  and  was  busy  in  outward,  loving, 
lavish  service,  while  Mary  sat  in  silence  at  the  feet  she  had  bathed 
with  her  tears.  Then,  their  brother  is  ill,  and  they  send  to  Jesus, 
"  Lord,  he  whom  Thou  lovest  is  sick."  And  in  His  own  time  the 
Lord  came,  and  they  go  out  to  meet  Him  ;  and  then  follows  that 
scene  of  unutterable  tenderness  and  of  sublimity  unsurpassed: 
the  silent  waiting  of  Mary ;  Martha  strong  in  faith,  but  realizing 
so  vividly,  with  her  practical  turn  of  mind,  the  fact  of  death,  and 
hesitating  :  "  Canst  Thou  show  Thy  wonders  in  the  grave  ?"  And 
then  once  again,  on  the  eve  of  His  Passion,  we  see  Jesus  at 
Bethany.  Martha,  true  to  her  character,  is  serving;  Mary,  as  at 
first,  pours  the  precious  ointment,  in  adoration  and  love,  on  His 
divine  head.  And  then  we  find  the  tomb  of  St.  Martha,  at  Taras- 
con,  in  Provence.  When  the  storm  of  persecution  came,  the 
family  of  Bethany,  with  a  few  companions,  were  put  into  a  boat, 


July  30.] 



without  oars  or  sail,  and  borne  to  the  coast  of  France.  St.  Mary's 
tomb  is  at  St.  Baume ;  St.  Lazarus  is  venerated  as  the  founder  of 
the  Church  of  Marseilles ;  and  the  memory  of  the  virtues  and 
labors  of  St.  Martha  is  still  fragrant  at  Avignon  and  Tarascon. 

Reflection. — When  Martha  received  Jesus  into  her  house,  she 
was  naturally  busy  in  preparations  for  such  a  Guest.  Mary  sat 
at  His  feet,  intent  alone  on  listening  to  His  gracious  words.  Her 
sister  thought  that  the  time  required  other  service  than  this,  and 
asked  our  Lord  to  bid  Mary  help  in  serving.  Once  again  Jesus 
spoke  in  defence  of  Mary.  "  Martha,  Martha,"  He  said,  "  thou  art 
lovingly  anxious  about  many  things ;  be  not  over-eager ;  do  thy 
chosen  work  with  recollectedness.  Judge  not  Mary.  Hers  is  the 
good  part,  the  one  only  thing  really  necessary.  Thine  will  be 
taken  away,  that  something  better  be  given  thee."  The  life  of  ac- 
tion ceases  when  the  body  is  laid  down ;  but  the  life  of  contempla- 
tion endures  and  is  perfected  in  heaven. 


jTLN  his  youth,  Germanus  gave  little  sign  of  sanctity.    He  was  01 
JUT  noble  birth,  and  at  first  practised  the  law  at  Rome.    After  a 
time,  the  emperor  placed  him  high  in  the  army.    But  his  one 
passion  was  the  chase.    He  was  so  carried  away  as  even  to  retain 



[July  30. 

in  his  sports  the  superstitions  of  the  pagan  huntsmen.  Yet  it  was 
revealed  to  the  Bishop  of  Auxerre  that  Germanus  would  be  his 
successor,  and  he  gave  him  the  tonsure  almost  by  main  force. 
Forthwith  Germanus  became  another  man,  and,  making  over  his 
lands  to  the  Church,  adopted  a  life  of  humble  penance.  At  that 
time  the  Pelagian  heresy  was  laying  waste  England,  and  Ger- 
manus was  chosen  by  the  reigning  Pontiff  to  rescue  the  Britons 
from  the  snare  of  Satan.  With  St.  Lupus  he  preached  in  the  fields 
and  highways  throughout  the  land.  At  last,  near  Verulam,  he 
met  the  heretics  face  to  face,  and  overcame  them  utterly  with  the 

Catholic  and  Roman  faith.  He  ascribed  this  triumph  to  the  inter- 
cession of  St.  Alban,  and  offered  public  thanks  at  his  shrine. 
Towards  the  end  of  his  stay,  his  old  skill  in  arms  won  over  the 
Picts  and  Scots  the  complete  but  bloodless  "  Alleluia"  victory,  so 
called  because  the  newly-baptized  Britons,  led  by  the  Saint,  routed 
the  enemy  with  the  Paschal  cry.  Germanus  visited  England  a 
second  time  with  St.  Severus.  He  died  a.d.  448,  while  interceding 
with  the  emperor  for  the  people  of  Brittany. 

Reflection. — "  Hold  the  form  of  sound  words,  which  thou  hast 
heard  of  me  in  faith,  and  in  the  love  which  is  in  Christ  Jesus." 
(2  Tim.  1  :  13.) 

JULY  3.1'.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  335 

V  JULY    31.— ST.    IGNATIUS    OF  LOYOLA. 

>§ijT.  IGNATIUS  was  born  at  Loyola  in  Spain,  in  the  year  1491. 
VkS)  He  served  his  king  as  a  courtier  and  a  soldier  till  his  thirtieth 
year.  At  that  age,  being  laid  low  by  a  wound,  he  received 
the  call  of  divine  grace  to  leave  the  world.  He  embraced  poverty 
and  humiliation,  that  he  might  become  more  like  to  Christ,  and 
won  others  to  join  him  in  the  service  of  God.  Prompted  by  their 
love  for  Jesus  Christ,  Ignatius  and  his  companions  made  a  vow  to> 
go  to  the  Holy  Land,  but  war  broke  out,  and  prevented  the  exe- 
cution of  their  project.    Then  they  turned  to  the  Vicar  of  Jesus 

Christ,  and  placed  themselves  under  his  obedience.  This  was  the 
beginning  of  the  Society  of  Jesus.  Our  Lord,  promised  St.  Igna- 
tius that  the  precious  heritage  of  His  Passion  should  never  fail 
his  Society,  a  heritage  of  contradictions  and  persecutions.  St. 
Ignatius  was  cast  into  prison  at  Salamanca,  on  a  suspicion  of 
heresy.  To  a  friend  who  expressed  sympathy  with  him  on  ac- 
count of  his  imprisonment,  he  replied,  "  It  is  a  sign  that  you  have 
but  little  love  of  Christ  in  your  heart,  or  you  would  not  deem  it  so 
hard  a  fate  to  be  in  chains  for  His  sake.  I  declare  to  you  that  all 
Salamanca  does  not  contain  as  many  fetters,  manacles,  and  chains 
as  I  long  to  wear  for  the  love  of  Jesus  Christ."  St.  Ignatius  went 
to  his  crown  on  the  31st  July,  1556. 



[August  I. 

Reflection. — Ask  St.  Ignatius  to  obtain  for  you  the  grace  to 
desire  ardently  the  greater  glory  of  God,  even  though  it  may  cost 
you  much  suffering  and  humiliation. 


EROD  AGRIPPA,  King  of  the  Jews,  having  put  to  death 
St.  James  the  Great  in  the  year  44,  in  order  to  gain  the 
affection  and  applause  of  his  people,  caused  St.  Peter, 
the  prince  of  the  sacred  college,  to  be  cast  into  prison.  It  was  his 
intention  to  put  him  publicly  to  death  after.  Easter.    The  whole 

Church  at  Jerusalem  put  up  its  prayers  to  God  for  the  deliver- 
ance of  the  chief  pastor  of  His  whole  flock,  and  God  favorably 
heard  them.  The  king  took  all  precautions  possible  to  prevent 
the  escape  of  his  prisoner.  St.  Peter  lay  fast  asleep,  on  the  very 
night  before  the  day  intended  for  his  execution,  when  it  pleased 
God  to  deliver  him  out  of  the  hands  of  his  enemies.  He  was 
guarded  by  sixteen  soldiers,  four  of  whom  always  kept  sentry  in 
their  turns :  two  in  the  same  dungeon  with  him,  and  two  at  the 
g-ate.  He  was  fastened  to  the  ground  by  two  chains,  and  slept 
Ibetween  the  two  soldiers.  In  the  middle  of  the  night,  a  bright 
light  shone  in  the  prison,  and  an  angel  appeared  near  him,  and, 

August  2.] 



striking  him  on  the  side,  awaked  him  out  of  his  sleep,  and  bade 
him  instantly  arise,  gird  his  coat  about  him,  put  on  his  sandals 
and  his  cloak,  and  follow  him.  The  Apostle  did  so,  for  the 
chains  had  dropped  off  from  his  hands.  Following  his  guide,  he 
passed  after  him  through  the  first  and  second  wards  or  watches, 
and  through  the  iron  gate  which  led  into  the  city,  which  opened 
to  them  of  its  own  accord.  The  angel  conducted  him  through 
one  street,  then,  suddenly  disappearing,  left  him  to  seek  some 
asylum.  The  Apostle  went  directly  to  the  house  of  Mary  the 
mother  of  John,  surnamed  Mark,  where  several  disciples  were 
met  together,  and  were  sending  up  their  prayers  to  heaven  for  his 
deliverance.  As  he  stood  knocking  without,  a  young  woman, 
knowing  Peter's  voice,  ran  in  and  informed  the  company 
that  he  was  at  the  door ;  they  concluded  it  must  be  his  guar- 
dian angel,  sent  by  God  upon  some  extraordinary  account, 
until,  being  let  in,  he  related  to  them  the  whole  manner  of  his 
miraculous  escape ;  and  having  enjoined  them  to  give  notice 
thereof  to  St.  James  and  the  rest  of  the  brethren,  he  withdrew  to 
a  place  of  more  retirement  and  security,  carrying,  wherever  he 
went,  the  heavenly  blessing  and  life. 

Reflection. — This  miracle  affords  a  confirmation  of  the  divine 
promise,  "  If  two  of  you  shall  consent  upon  earth  concerning  any- 
thing whatsoever  they  shall  ask,  it  shall  be  done  to  them  by  my 
Father  who  is  in  heaven." 


T.  STEPHEN  was  by  birth  a  Roman,  and,  being  promoted 
to  holy  orders,  was  made  archdeacon  under  the  holy  Popes 
St.  Cornelius  and  St.  Lucius.  The  latter  having  suffered 
martyrdom,  St.  Stephen  was  chosen  to  succeed  him,  and  was 
elected  Pope  on  the  3d  of  May,  253.  The  controversy  concerning 
the  rebaptization  of  heretics  gave  St.  Stephen  much  trouble.  It  is 
the  teaching  of  the  Catholic  Church,  that  baptism  given  in  the  name 
of  the  three  persons  of  the  Blessed  Trinity  is  valid,  though  it  be 
conferred  by  a  heretic.  St.  Stephen  suffered  himself  patiently  to  be 
traduced  as  a  favorer  of  heresy  in  approving  heretical  baptism,  not 
doubting  but  those  great  men  who  by  mistaken  zeal  were  led 
astray  would,  when  the  heat  of  the  dispute  had  subsided,  calmly 
open  their  eyes  to  the  truth.  Thus  by  his  zeal  he  preserved  the 
integrity  of  faith,  and  by  his  toleration  and  forbearance  saved 



[August  2. 

many  souls.  The  persecutions  becoming  violent,  he  assembled 
the  faithful  together  in  the  underground  tombs  of  the  martyrs,  to 
celebrate  Mass  and  to  exhort  them  to  remain  true  to  Christ.  On 
the  2d  of  August,  257,  while  seated  in  his  pontifical  chair,  he  was 
beheaded  by  the  satellites  of  the  emperor;  and  the  chair  is  still 
shown,  stained  with  his  blood. 


T.  ALPHONSUS  was  born  of  noble  parents,  near  Naples, 
in  1696.  >His  spiritual  training  was  entrusted  to  the  Fathers 
of  the  Oratory  in  that  city,  and  from  his  boyhood  Alphonsus 
was  known  as  a  most  devout  Brother  of  the  Little  Oratory.  At 
the  early  age  of  sixteen  he  was  made  doctor  in  law,  and  he  threw 
himself  into  this  career  with  ardor  and  success.  A  mistake,  by 
which  he  lost  an  important  cause,  showed  him  the  vanity  of 
human  fame,  and  determined  him  to  labor  only  for  the  glory  of 
God.  He  entered  the  priesthood,  devoting  himself  to  the  most 
neglected  souls;  and  to  carry  on  this  work  he  founded  later  the 
missionary  Congregation  of  the  Most  Holy  Redeemer.  At  the 
age  of  sixty-six  he  became  Bishop  of  St.  Agatha,  and  undertook 
the  reform  of  his  diocese  with  the  zeal  of  a  Saint.  He  made  a 
vow  never  to  lose  time,  and,  though  his  life  was  spent  in  prayer 

August  3.] 



and  work,  he  composed  a  vast  number  of  books,  filled  with  such 
science,  unction,  and  wisdom  that  he  has  been  declared  one  of 
the  Doctors  of  the  Church.  St.  Alphonsus  wrote  his  first  book 
at  the  age  of  forty-nine,  and  in  his  eighty-third  year  had  published 
about  sixty  volumes,  when  his  director  forbade  him  to  write  more. 
Very  many  of  these  books  were  written  in  the  half-hours  snatched 
from  his  labors  as  missionary,  religious  superior,  and  Bishop,  or 
in  the  midst  of  continual  bodily  and  mental  sufferings.  With  his 
left  hand  he  would  hold  a  piece  of  marble  against  his  aching  head 
while  his  right  hand  wrote.  Yet  he  counted  no  time  wasted 
which  was  spent  in  charity.  He  did  not  refuse  to  hold  a  long 
correspondence  with  a  simple  soldier  who  asked  his  advice,  or  to 
play  the  harpsichord  while  he  taught  his  novices  to  sing  spiritual 
canticles.  He  lived  in  evil  times,  and  met  with  many  persecutions 
and  disappointments.  For  his  last  seven  years  he  was  prevented 
by  constant  sickness  from  offering  the  Adorable  Sacrifice ;  but  he 
received  Holy  Communion  daily,  and  his  love  for  Jesus  Christ 
and  his  trust  in  Mary's  prayers  sustained  him  to  the  end.  He 
died  in  1787,  in  his  ninety-first  year. 

Reflection. — Let  us  do  with  all  our  heart  the  duty  of  each 
day,  leaving  the  result  to  God,  as  well  as  the  care  of  the  future. 


HIS  second  festival,  in  honor  of  the  holy  protomartyr  St. 
Stephen,  was  instituted  by  the  Church  on  the  occasion  of  the 
discovery  of  his  precious  remains.  His  body  lay  long  con- 
cealed, under  the  ruins  of  an  old  tomb,  in  a  place  twenty  miles 
from  Jerusalem,  called  Caphargamala,  where  stood  a  church  which 
was  served  by  a  venerable  priest  named  Lucian.  In  the  year  415, 
on  Friday,  the  3d  of  December,  about  nine  o'clock  at  night,  Lu- 
cian was  sleeping  in  his  bed  in  the  baptistery,  where  he  commonly 
lay  in  order  to  guard  the  sacred  vessels  of  the  church.  Being 
half  awake,  he  saw  a  tall,  comely  old  man  of  a  venerable  aspect, 
who  approached  Lucian,  and,  calling  him  thrice  by  his  name,  bid 
him  go  to  Jerusalem  and  tell  Bishop  John  to  come  and  open  the 
tombs  in  which  his  remains  and  those  of  certain  other  servants  of 
Christ  lay,  that  through  their  means  God  might  open  to  many 
the  gates  of  His  clemency.  This  vision  was  repeated  twice. 
After  the  second  time,  Lucian  went  to  Jerusalem  and  laid  the 
whole  affair  before  Bishop  John,  who  bade  him  go  and  search 



[August  3. 

for  the  relics,  which,  the  Bishop  concluded,  would  be  found 
under  a  heap  of  small  stones  which  lay  in  a  field  near  his 
church.  In  digging  up  the  earth  here,  three  coffins  or  chests 
were  found.  Lucian  sent  immediately  to  acquaint  Bishop  John 
with  this.  He  was  then  at  the  Council  of  Diospolis,  and,  taking 
along  with  him  Eutonius,  Bishop  of  Sebaste,  and  Eleutherius, 
Bishop  of  Jericho,  came  to  the  place.  Upon  the  opening  of  St. 
Stephen's  coffin,  the  earth  shook,  and  there  came  out  of  the  coffin 
such  an  agreeable  odor  that  no  one  remembered  to  have  ever 
smelled  any  thing  like  it.   There  was  a  vast  multitude  of  people  as- 

sembled in  that  place,  among  whom  were  many  persons  afflicted 
with  divers  distempers,  of  whom  seventy-three  recovered  their 
health  upon  the  spot.  They  kissed  the  holy  relics,  and  then  shut 
them  up.  The  Bishop  consented  to  leave  a  small  portion  of  them 
at  Caphargamala ;  the  rest  were  carried  in  the  coffin,  with  singing 
of  psalms  and  hymns,  to  the  Church  of  Sion  at  Jerusalem.  The 
translation  was  performed  on  the  26th  of  December,  on  which  day 
the  Church  hath  ever  since  honored  the  memory  of  St.  Stephen, 
commemorating  the  discovery  of  his  relics  on  the  3d  of  August 
probably  on  account  of  the  dedication  of  some  church  in  his 

Reflection— St.  Austin,  speaking  of  the  miracles  of  St.  Ste- 

August  4.]  lives  OF  the  saints.  341 

phen,  addresses  himself  to  his  flock  as  follows :  "  Let  us  so  desire 
to  obtain  temporal  blessings  by  his  intercession  that  we  may 
merit,  in  imitating  him,  those  which  are  eternal." 


T.  DOMINIC  was  born  in  Spain,  a.d.  1170.  As  a  student, 
he  sold  his  books  to  feed  the  poor  in  a  famine,  and  offered 
himself  in  ransom  for  a  slave.    At  the  age  of  twentv-five.  he 

became  superior  of  the  Canons  Regular  of  Osma,  and  accom- 
panied his  Bishop  to  France.  There  his  heart  was  well-nigh 
broken  by  the  ravages  of  the  Albigensian  heresy,  and  his  life 
was  henceforth  devoted  to  the  conversion  of  heretics  and  the 
defence  of  the  faith.  For  this  end,  he  established  his  threefold 
religious  Order.  The  convent  for  nuns  was  founded  first,  to  rescue 
young  girls  from  heresy  and  crime.  Then  a  company  of  apostolic 
men  gathered  around  him,  and  became  the  Order  of  Friar  Preach- 
ers. Lastly  came  the  Tertiaries,  persons  of  both  sexes  living  in 
the  world.  God  blessed  the  new  Order,  and  France,  Italy,  Spain, 
and  England  welcomed  the  Preaching  Friars.  Our  Lady  took 
them  under  her  special  protection,  and  whispered  to  St.  Dominic 
as  he  preached.    It  was  in  1208,  while  St.  Dominic  knelt  in  the 



[August  5. 

little  chapel  of  Notre  Dame  de  la  Prouille,  and  implored  the  great 
Mother  of  God  to  save  the  Church,  that  our  Lady  appeared  to 
him,  gave  him  the  Rosary,  and  bade  him  go  forth  and  preach. 
Beads  in  hand,  he  revived  the  courage  of  the  Catholic  troops, 
led  them  to  victory  against  overwhelming  numbers,  and  finally 
crushed  the  heresy.  His  nights  were  spent  in  prayer;  and, 
though  pure  as  a  virgin,  thrice  before  morning  broke,  he  scourged 
himself  to  blood.  His  words  rescued  countless  souls,  and  three 
times  raised  the  dead  to  life.  At  length,  on  August  6th,  122 1,  at 
the  age  of  fifty-one,  he  gave  up  his  soul  to  God. 

Reflection. — "  God  has  never,"  said  St.  Dominic,  "  refused  me 
what  I  have  asked;"  and  he  has  left  us  the  Rosary,  that  we  may 
learn,  with  Mary's  help,  to  pray  easily  and  simply  in  the  same 
holy  trust. 


HERE  are  in  Rome  three  patriarchal  churches,  in  which  the 
Pope  officiates  on  different  festivals.  These  are  the  Basilics  of 
St.  John  Lateran,  St.  Peter's  on  the  Vatican  Hill,  and  St.  Mary 

Major.  This  last  is  so  called  because  it  is,  both  in  antiquity  and 
dignity,  the  first  church  in  Rome  among  those  that  are  dedicated 
to  God  in  honor  of  the  Virgin  Mary.    The  name  of  the  Liberian 

August  6.] 



Basilic  was  given  it  because  it  was  founded  in  the  time  of  Pope 
Liberius,  in  the  fourth  century ;  it  was  consecrated,  under  the  title 
of  the  Virgin  Mary,  by  Sixtus  III.,  about  the  year  435.  It  is  also 
called  St.  Mary  ad  Nives,  or  at  the  snow,  from  a  popular  tradition 
that  the  Mother  of  God  chose  this  place  for  a  church  under  her 
invocation  by  a  miraculous  snow  that  fell  upon  this  spot  in  sum- 
mer, and  by  a  vision  in  which  she  appeared  to  a  patrician  named 
John,  who  munificently  founded  and  endowed  this  church  in  the 
pontificate  of  Liberius.  The  same  Basilic  has  sometimes  been 
known  by  the  name  of  St.  Mary  ad  Froesepe,  from  the  holy  crib  or 
manger  of  Bethlehem,  in  which  Christ  was  laid  at  his  birth.  It 
resembles  an  ordinary  manger,  is  kept  in  a  case  of  massive  silver, 
and  in  it  lies  an  image  of  a  little  child,  also  of  silver.  On  Christ- 
mas Day  the  holy  manger  is  taken  out  of  the  case,  and  exposed. 
It  is  kept  in  a  sumptuous  subterraneous  chapel  in  this  church. 

Reflection. — To  render  our  supplications  the  more  efficacious, 
we  ought  to  unite  them  in  spirit  to  those  of  all  fervent  penitents 
and  devout  souls,  in  invoking  this  advocate  for  sinners. 


UR  Divine  Redeemer,  being  in  Galilee  about  a  year  before 
His  Sacred  Passion,  took  with  Him  St.  Peter  and  the  two 
sons  of  Zebedee,  SS.  James  and  John,  and  led  them  to 
a  retired  mountain.  Tradition  assures  us  that  this  was  Mount 
Tabor,  which  is  exceedingly  high  and  beautiful,  and  was  anciently 
covered  with  green  trees  and  shrubs,  and  was  very  fruitful.  It 
rises  something  like  a  sugar-loaf,  in  a  vast  plain  in  the  middle  of 
Galilee.  This  was  the  place  in  which  the  Man-God  appeared  in 
His  glory.  Whilst  Jesus  prayed,  He  suffered  that  glory  which  was 
always  due  to  His  sacred  humility,  and  of  which,  for  our  sake, 
He  deprived  it  to  diffuse  a  ray  over  His  whole  body.  His  face 
was  altered  and  shone  as  the  sun,  and  His  garments  became 
white  as  snow.  Moses  and  Elias  were  seen  by  the  three  Apostles 
in  His  company  on  this  occasion,  and  were  heard  discoursing  with 
Him  of  the  death  which  He  was  to  suffer  in  Jerusalem.  The 
three  Apostles  were  wonderfully  delighted  with  this  glorious 
vision,  and  St.  Peter  cried  out  to  Christ,  "  Lord,  it  is  good  for  us 
to  be  here.  Let  us  make  three  tents :  one  for  Thee,  one  for  Moses, 
and  one  for  Elias."  Whilst  St.  Peter  was  speaking,  there  came, 
on  a  sudden,  a  bright  shining  cloud  from  heaven,  an  emblem  of 



[August  7. 

the  presence  of  God's  majesty,  and  from  out  of  this  cloud  was 
heard  a  voice  which  said,  "This  is  my  beloved  Son  in  whom  I  am 
well  pleased  ;  hear  ye  Him."  The  Apostles  that  were  present,  upon 
hearing  this  voice,  were  seized  with  a  sudden  fear,  and  fell  upon 
the  ground;  but  Jesus,  going  to  them,  touched  them,  and  bade 
them  to  rise.  They  immediately  did  so,  and  saw  no  one  but  Jesus 
standing  in  his  ordinary  state.  This  vision  happened  in  the  night. 
As  they  went  down  the  mountain  early  the  next  morning,  Jesus 
bade  them  not  to  tell  any  one  what  they  had  seen  till  he  should  be 
risen  from  the  dead. 

Reflection. — From  the  contemplation  of  this  glorious  mystery 
we  ought  to  conceive  a  true  idea  of  future  happiness;  if  this 
once  possess  our  souls,  we  will  think  nothing  of  any  difficulties  or 
labors  we  can  meet  with  here,  but  regard  with  great  indifference 
all  the  goods  and  evils  of  this  life,  provided  we  can  but  secure 
our  portion  in  the  kingdom  of  God's  glory. 


^AJETAN  was  born  at  Vicenza,  in  1480,  of  pious  and  noble 
'  parents,  who  dedicated  him  to  our  Blessed  Lady.  From 
childhood  he  was  known  as  the  Saint,  and  in  later  years  as 
the  hunter  of  souls."    A  distinguished  student,  he  left  his  native 

August  7.] 



town  to  seek  obscurity  in  Rome,  but  was  there  forced  to  accept 
office  at  the  court  of  Julius  II,  On  the  death  of  that  Pontiff,  he 
returned  to  Vicenza,  and  disgusted  his  relatives  by  joining  the 
Confraternity  of  St.  Jerome,  whose  members  were  drawn  from  the 
lowest  classes ;  while  he  spent  his  fortune  in  building  hospitals, 
and  devoted  himself  to  nursing  the  plague-stricken.  To  renew 
the  lives  of  the  clergy,  he  instituted  the  first  community  of  Regular 
Clerks,  known  as  Theatines.  They  devoted  themselves  to  preach- 
ing, the  administration  of  the  Sacraments,  and  the  careful  perform- 
ance of  the  Church's  rites  and  ceremonies.   St.  Cajetan  was  the  first 

to  introduce  the  Forty  Hours'  Adoration  of  the  Blessed  Sacrament, 
as  an  antidote  to  the  heresy  of  Calvin.  He  had  a  most  tender  love 
for  our  Blessed  Lady,  and  his  piety  was  rewarded ;  for  one 
Christmas  eve  she  placed  the  Infant  Jesus  in  his  arms.  When  the 
Germans,  under  the  Constable  Bourbon,  sacked  Rome,  St.  Cajetan 
was  barbarously  scourged,  to  extort  from  him  riches  which  he 
had  long  before  securely  stored  in  heaven.  When  St.  Cajetan  was 
on  his  death-bed,  resigned  to  the  will  of  God,  eager  for  pain  to 
satisfy  his  love,  and  for  death  to  attain  to  life,  he  beheld  the 
Mother  of  God,  radiant  with  splendor  and  surrounded  by  minis- 
tering seraphim.  In  profound  veneration,  he  said,  "  Lady,  bless 
me!"  Mary  replied,  "Cajetan,  receive  the  blessing  of  my  Son, 
and  know  that  I  am  here  as  a  reward  for  the  sincerity  of  your  love, 



[August  8. 

and  to  lead  you  to  paradise."  She  then  exhorted  him  to  patience 
in  fighting  an  evil  spirit  who  troubled  him,  and  gave  orders  to  the 
choirs  of  angels  to  escort  his  soul  in  triumph  to  heaven.  Then, 
turning  her  countenance  full  of  majesty  and  sweetness  upon  him, 
she  said,  "  Cajetan,  my  Son  calls  thee.  Let  us  go  in  peace." 
Worn  out  with  toil  and  sickness,  he  went  to  his  reward  in  1547. 

Reflection. — Imitate  St.  Cajetan's  devotion  to  our  Blessed 
Lady,  by  invoking  her  aid  before  every  work. 


fT.  CYRIACUS  was  a  holy  deacon  at  Rome,  under  the  Popes 
Marcellinus  and  Marcellus.  In  the  persecution  of  Diocle- 
tian, in  303,  he  was  crowned  with  a  glorious  martyrdom  in 
that  city.  With  him  suffered  also  Largus  and  Smaragdus  and 
twenty  others.  Their  bodies  were  first  buried  near  the  place  of 
their  execution,  on  the  Salarian  Way,  but  were  soon  after  removed 
to  a  farm  of  the  devout  Lady  Lucina,  on  the  Ostian  Road,  on  the 
eighth  day  of  August. 

Reflection. — To  honor  the  martyrs  and  duly  celebrate  their 
festivals,  we  must  learn  their  spirit  and  study  to  imitate  them 
according  to  the  circumstances  of  our  state.    We  must,  like  them, 

August  9.] 



resist  evil,  must  subdue  our  passions,  suffer  afflictions  with 
patience,  and  bear  with  others  without  murmuring  or  complain- 
ing.   The  cross  is  the  ladder  by  which  we  must  ascend  to  heaven. 


ORN  a.d.  1506,  of  poor  Savoyard  shepherds,  Peter,  at  his 
earnest  request,  was  sent  to  school,  and  in  after-years  to 
the  University  of  Paris.  His  college  friends  were  St.  Igna- 
tius of  Loyola  and  St.  Francis  Xavier.  Ignatius  found  the  young 
man's  heart  ready  for  his  thoughts  of  apostolic  zeal ;  Peter  became 
his  first  companion,  and  in  the  year  of  England's  revolt  was  or- 
dained the  first  priest  of  the  new  Society  of  Jesus.  From  that  day  to 
the  close  of  his  life,  he  was  ever  in  the  van  of  the  Church's  strug- 
gles with  falsehood  and  sin.  Boldly  facing  heresy  in  Germany, 
he  labored  not  less  diligently  to  rouse  up  the  dormant  faith  and 
charity  of  Catholic  courts  and  Catholic  lands.  The  odor  of 
Blessed  Peter's  virtues  drew  after  him  into  religion  the  Duke  of 
Gandia,  Francis  Borgia,  and  a  young  student  of  Nimeguen,  Peter 
Canisius,  both  to  become  Saints  like  their  master.  The  Pope, 
Paul  III.,  had  chosen  Blessed  Favre  to  be  his  theologian  at  the 
Council  of  Trent,  and  King  John  III.,  of  Portugal,  wished  to  send 
him  as  patriarch  and  apostle  into  Abyssinia.  Sick  and  worn  with 
labor,  but  obedient  unto  death,  the  father  hastened  back  to  Rome, 
where  his  last  illness  came  upon  him.  He  died,  in  his  fortieth 
year,  as  one  would  wish  to  die,  in  the  very  arms  of  his  best 
friend  and  spiritual  father,  St.  Ignatius. 

Reflection. — As  the  body  sinks  under  fatigue  unless  sup- 
ported by  food,  so  external  works,  however  holy,  wear  out  the 
soul  which  is  not  regularly  nourished  by  prayer.  In  the  most 
crowded  day  we  can  make  time  briefly  and  secretly  to  lift  our  soul 
to  God  and  draw  new  strength  from  Him. 


T.  ROMANUS  was  a  soldier  in  Rome  at  the  time  of  the  mar- 
tyrdom of  St.  Laurence.  Seeing  the  joy  and  constancy 
with  which  that  holy  martyr  suffered  his  torments,  he  was 
moved  to  embrace  the  faith,  and,  addressing  himself  to  St.  Lau- 
rence, was  instructed  and  baptized  by  him  in  prison.  Confessing 
aloud  what  he  had  done,  he  was  arraigned,  condemned,  and  be- 


headed  the  day  before  the  martyrdom  of  St.  Laurence.  Thus  he 
arrived  at  his  crown  before  his  guide  and  master.  The  body  of 
St.  Romanus  was  first  buried  on  the  road  to  Tibur,  but  his  remains 
were  translated  to  Lucca,  where  they  are  kept  under  the  high 
altar  of  a  beautiful  church  which  bears  his  name. 

Reflection. — We  are  bound  to  glorify  God  by  our  lives, 
and  Christ  commands  that  our  good  works  shine  before  men. 
It  was  the  usual  saying  of  the  apostle  St.  Matthias,  "  The 
faithful  sins  if  his  neighbor  sins."  Such  ought  to  be  the  zeal 
of  every  one  to  instruct  and  edify  his  neighbor  by  word  and 


T.  LAURENCE  was  the  chief  among  the  seven  deacons  of 
the  Roman  Church.  In  the  year  258,  Pope  Sixtus  was  led 
out  to  die,  and  St.  Laurence  stood  by,  weeping  that  he 
could  not  share  his  fate.  "I  was  your  minister,"  he  said,  "when 
you  consecrated  the  blood  of  our  Lord ;  why  do  you  leave  me 
behind  now  that  you  are  about  to  shed  your  own  ?"  The  holy 
Pope  comforted  him  with  the  words,  "  Do  not  weep,  my  son  ;  in 
three  days  you  will  follow  me."    This  prophecy  came  true.  The 

August  io.] 



prefect  of  the  city  knew  the  rich  offerings  which  the  Christians 
put  into  the  hands  of  the  clergy,  and  he  demanded  the  treasures  of 
the  Roman  Church  from  Laurence,  their  guardian.  The  Saint 
promised,  at  the  end  of  three  days,  to  show  him  riches  exceeding 
all  the  wealth  of  the  empire,  and  set  about  collecting  the  poor,  the 
infirm,  and  the  religious  who  lived  by  the  alms  of  the  faithful. 
He  then  bade  the  prefect  "see  the  treasures  of  the  Church." 
Christ,  whom  Laurence  had  served  in  his  poor,  gave  him  strength 
in  the  conflict  which  ensued.  Roasted  over  a  slow  fire,  he  made 
sport  of  his  pains.  "  I  am  done  enough,"  he  said  ;  "  eat,  if  you 
will."    At  length  Christ,  the  Father  of  the  poor,  received  him  into 

eternal  habitations.  God  showed  by  the  glory  which  shone 
around  St.  Laurence  the  value  He  set  upon  his  love  for  the 
poor.  Prayers  innumerable  were  granted  at  his  tomb  ;  and  he 
continued  from  his  throne  in  heaven  his  charity  to  those  in 
need,  granting  them,  as  St.  Augustine  says,  "the  smaller  graces 
which  they  sought,  and  leading  them  to  the  desire  of  better 

Reflection. — Our  Lord  appears  before  us  in  the  persons  of 
the  poor.  Charity  to  them  is  a  great  sign  of  predestination.  It  is 
almost  impossible,  the  holy  Fathers  assure  us,  for  any  one  who  is 
charitable  to  the  poor  for  Christ's  sake  to  perish. 



[August  i  i. 


GRESTIUS  CHROMATIUS  was  vicar  to  the  prefect  of 
Rome,  and  had  condemned  several  martyrs  in  the  reign  of 
Carinus;  and  in  the  first  years  of  Diocletian,  St.  Tranquil- 
linus,  being  brought  before  him,  assured  him  that,  having  been 
afflicted  with  the  gout,  he  had  recovered  a  perfect  state  of  health 
by  being  baptized.  Chromatins  was  troubled  with  the  same  dis- 
temper, and  being  convinced  by  this  miracle  of  the  truth  of  the 
Gospel,  sent  for  a  priest,  and,  receiving  the  sacrament  of  bap- 
tism, was  freed  from  that  corporal  infirmity.  Chromatius's  son, 
Tiburtius,  was  ordained  subdeacon,  and  was  soon  after  betrayed 
to  the  persecutors,  condemned  to  many  torments,  and  at  length 
beheaded  on  the  Lavican  Road,  three  miles  from  Rome,  where  a 
church  was  afterward  built.  His  father,  Chromatius,  retiring  into 
the  country,  lived  there  concealed,  in  the  fervent  practice  of  all 
Christian  virtues. 

St.  Susanna  was  nobly  born  in  Rome,  and  is  said  to  have 
been  niece  to  Pope  Caius.  Having  made  a  vow  of  virginity,  she 
refused  to  marry,  on  which  account  she  was  impeached  as  a  Chris- 
tian, and  suffered  with  heroic  constancy  a  cruel  martyrdom. 
St.  Susanna  suffered  towards  the  beginning  of  Diocletian's  reign, 
about  the  year  295. 

August  12.] 



Reflection. — Sufferings  were  to  the  martyrs  the  most  dis- 
tinguishing mercy,  extraordinary  graces,  and  sources  of  the  great- 
est crowns  and  glory.  All  afflictions  which  God  sends  are  in  like 
manner  the  greatest  mercies  and  blessings ;  they  are  the  most 
precious  talents  to  be  improved  by  us  to  the  increasing  of  our  love 
and  affection  to  God,  and  the  exercise  of  the  most  heroic  virtues 
of  self-denial,  patience,  humility,  resignation,  and  penance. 


N  Palm  Sunday,  March  17th,  12 12,  the  Bishop  of  Assisi  left 
the  altar  to  present  a  palm  to  a  noble  maiden,  eighteen 
years  of  age,  whom  bashfulness  had  detained  in  her  place. 
This  maiden  was  St.  Clare.  Already  she  had  learnt  from  St.  Fran- 
cis to  hate  the  world,  and  was  secretly  resolved  to  live  for  God 
alone.  The  same  night  she  escaped,  with  one  companion,  to  the 
Church  of  the  Portiuncula,  where  she  was  met  by  St.  Francis  and 
his  brethren.    At  the  altar  of  our  Lady,  St.  Francis  cut  off  her 

hair,  clothed  her  in  his  habit  of  penance,  a  piece  of  sackcloth,  with 
his  cord  as  a  girdle.  Thus  was  she  espoused  to  Christ.  In  a 
miserable  house  outside  Assisi  she  founded  her  Order,  and  was 
joined  by  her  sister,  fourteen  years  of  age,  and  afterwards  by  her 



[August  13. 

mother  and  other  noble  ladies.  They  went  barefoot,  observed 
perpetual  abstinence,  constant  silence,  and  perfect  poverty. 
While  the  Saracen  army  of  Frederick  II.  was  ravaging  the  valley 
of  Spoleto,  a  body  of  infidels  advanced  to  assault  St.  Clare's  con- 
vent, which  stood  outside  Assisi.  The  Saint  caused  the  Blessed 
Sacrament  to  be  placed  in  a  monstrance,  above  the  gate  of  the 
monastery  facing  the  enemy,  and  kneeling  before  it,  prayed,  "De- 
liver not  to  beasts,  O  Lord,  the  souls  of  those  who  confess  to 
Thee,"  A  voice  from  the  Host  replied,  "  My  protection  will  never 
fail  you."  A  sudden  panic  seized  the  infidel  host,  which  took  to 
flight,  and  the  Saint's  convent  was  spared.  During  her  illness  of 
twenty-eight  years,  the  Holy  Eucharist  was  her  only  support,  and 
spinning  linen  for  the  altar  the  one  work  of  her  hands.  She  died 
a.d.  1253,  as  the  Passion  was  being  read,  and  our  Lady  and  the 
angels  conducted  her  to  glory. 

Reflection. — In  a  luxurious  and  effeminate  age,  the  daughters 
of  St.  Clare  still  bear  the  noble  title  of  poor,  and  preach  by  their 
daily  lives  the  poverty  of  Jesus  Christ. 


T.  RADEGUNDES  was  the  daughter  of  a  king  of  Thurin- 
gia  who  was  assassinated  by  his  brother;  a  war  ensuing, 
our  Saint,  at  the  age  of  twelve,  was  made  prisoner  and  car- 
ried captive  by  Clotaire,  King  of  Soissons,  who  had  her  instructed 
in  the  Christian  religion  and  baptized.  The  great  mysteries  of 
our  faith  made  such  an  impression  on  her  tender  soul  that  she 
gave  herself  to  God  with  her  whole  heart,  and  desired  to  conse- 
crate to  him  her  virginity ;  she  was  obliged  at  last,  however,  to 
yield  to  the  king's  wish  that  she  should  become  his  wife.  As  a 
great  queen,  she  continued  no  less  an  enemy  to  sloth  and  vanity 
than  she  was  before,  and  divided  her  time  chiefly  between  her 
oratory,  the  Church,  and  the  care  of  the  poor.  She  also  kept  long 
fasts,  and  during  Lent  wore  a  hair-cloth  under  her  rich  garments. 
Clotaire  was  at  first  pleased  with  her  devotions,  and  allowed  her 
full  liberty  in  them,  but  afterward  used  frequently  to  reproach 
her  for  her  pious  exercises,  saying  he  had  married  a  nun  rather 
than  a  queen,  who  converted  his  court  into  a  monastery.  Seeing 
that  Clotaire  was  inflamed  by  bad  passions,  our  Saint  asked  and 
obtained  his  leave  to  retire  from  court.  She  went  to  Noyon,  and 
was  consecrated  deaconess  by  St.  Medard.     Radegundes  first 

August  14.]  LIVES  OF  THE  saints.  353 

withdrew  to  Sais,  and  some  time  after  she  went  to  Poitiers,  and 
there  built  a  great  monastery.  She  had  a  holy  virgin,  named 
Agnes,  made  the  first  abbess,  and  paid  to  her  an  implicit  obedience 
in  all  things,  not  reserving  to  herself  the  disposal  of  the  least 
thing.  King  Clotaire,  repenting  of  his  evil  conduct,  wished  her 
to  return  to  court,  but,  through  the  intercession  of  St.  Germanus 
of  Paris,  she  was  allowed  to  remain  in  her  retirement,  where  she 
died  on  the  13th  of  August,  587. 


HE  Church  celebrates  this  day  the  memory  of  St.  Eusebius, 
who  opposed  the  Arians,  at  Rome,  with  so  much  zeal.  He 
was  imprisoned  in  his  room  by  order  of  the  Emperor  Con- 
stantius,  and  sanctified  his  captivity  by  constant  prayer.  Another 
Saint  of  the  same  name,  a  priest  and  martyr,  is  commemorated  on 
this  day.  In  the  reign  of  Diocletian  and  Maximian,  before  they 
had  published  any  new  edicts  against  the  Christians,  Eusebius,  a 
holy  priest,  a  man  eminently  endowed  with  the  spirit  of  prayer 
and  all  apostolical  virtues,  suffered  death  for  the  faith,  probably 
in  Palestine.  The  Emperor  Maximian  happening  to  be  in  that 
country,  complaint  was  made  to  Maxentius,  president  of  the  prov- 
ince, that  Eusebius  distinguished  himself  by  his  zeal  in  invoking 



[August  14. 

and  preaching  Christ,  and  the  holy  man  was  seized.  Maximian 
was  by  birth  a  barbarian,  and  one  of  the  roughest  and  most  brutal 
and  savage  of  all  men.  Yet  the  undaunted  and  modest  virtue  of 
this  stranger,  set  off  by  a  heavenly  grace,  struck  him  with  awe. 
He  desired  to  save  the  servant  of  Christ,  but,  like  Pilate,  would 
not  give  himself  any  trouble  or  hazard  incurring  the  displeasure 
of  those  whom  on  all  other  occasions  he  despised.  Maxentius 
commanded  Eusebius  to  sacrifice  to  the  gods,  and  on  the  Saint 
refusing,  the  president  condemned  him  to  be  beheaded.  Zuse- 
bius,  hearing  the  sentence  pronounced,  said  aloud,  "  I  thank  Your 

goodness  and  praise  Your  power,  O  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  that,  by 
calling  me  to  the  trial  of  my  fidelity,  You  have  treated  me  as  one 
of  Yours."  He,  at  that  instant,  heard  a  voice  from  heaven,  saying 
to  him,  "  If  you  had  not  been  found  worthy  to  suffer,  you  could 
not  be  admitted  into  the  court  of  Christ  or  to  the  seats  of  the 
just."  Being  come  to  the  place  of  execution,  he  knelt  down,  and 
his  head  was  struck  off. 

Reflection. — Let  us  learn,  from  the  example  of  the  Saints, 
courage  in  the  service  of  God.  He  calls  upon  us  to  endure  suf- 
fering of  body  and  of  mind,  if  it  is  necessary,  to  prove  our  fidelity 
to  Him ;  and  He  promises  to  support  us  by  His  strength,  His 
light,  and  His  heavenly  consolation. 

August  15.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 




N  this  festival,  the  Church  commemorates  the  happy  depart- 
ure from  life  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  Marv,  and  her  transla- 
tion  into  the  kingdom  of  her  Son,  in  which  she  received  from 
Him  a  crown  of  immortal  glory,  and  a  throne  above  all  the  other 
Saints  and  heavenly  spirits.  After  Christ,  as  the  triumphant  Con- 
queror of  death  and  hell,  ascended  into  heaven,  His  blessed  Mother 
remained  at  Jerusalem,  persevering  in  prayer  with  the  disciples, 
till,  with  them,  she  had  received  the  Holy  Ghost.    She  lived  to 

a  very  advanced  age,  but  finally  paid  the  common  debt  of  nature, 
none  among  the  children  of  Adam  being  exempt  from  that  rigor- 
ous law.  But  the  death  of  the  Saints  is  rather  to  be  called  a 
sweet  sleep  than  death  ;  much  more  that  of  the  Queen  of  Saints, 
who  had  been  exempt  from  all  sin.  It  is  a  traditionary  pious 
belief,  that  the  body  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  was  raised  by  God 
soon  after  her  death,  and  taken  up  to  glory,  by  a  singular  privi- 
lege, before  the  general  resurrection  of  the  dead.  The  Assump- 
tion of  the  Blessed  Virgin  Mary  is  the  greatest  of  all  the  festivals 
which  the  Church  celebrates  in  her  honor.  It  is  the  consum- 
mation of  all  the  other  great  mysteries  by  which  her  life  was 
rendered  most  wonderful ;  it  is  the  birthday  of  her  true  greatness, 



[August  16. 

and  glory,  and  the  crowning  of  all  the  virtues  of  her  whole  life, 
which  we  admire  single  in  her  other  festivals. 

Reflection. — Whilst  we  contemplate,  in  profound  sentiments 
of  veneration,  astonishment,  and  praise,  the  glory  to  which  Mary 
is  raised  by  her  triumph  on  this  day,  we  ought,  for  our  own 
advantage,  to  consider  by  what  means  she  arrived  at  this  sublime 
degree  of  honor  and  happiness,  that  we  may  walk  in  her  steps. 
No  other  way  is  open  to  us.  The  same  path  which  conducted  her 
to  glory  will  also  lead  us  thither ;  we  shall  be  partners  in  her 
reward  if  we  copy  her  virtues. 

^    AUGUST  16.— ST.  HYACINTH. 

YACINTH,  the  glorious  apostle  of  Poland  and  Russia,  was 
born  of  noble  parents  in  Poland,  about  the  year  1185.  In 
1 2 18,  being  already  Canon  of  Cracow,  he  accompanied  his 
uncle,  the  Bishop  of  that  place,  to  Rome.  There  he  met  St. 
Dominic,  and  received  the  habit  of  the  Friar  Preachers  from  the 
patriarch  himself,  of  whom  he  became  a  living  copy.    So  wonder- 

ful was  his  progress  in  virtue  that  within  a  year  Dominic  sent 
Mm  to  preach  and  plant  the  Order  in  Poland,  where  he  founded 
two  houses.  His  apostolic  journeys  extended  over  numerous 
regions.    Austria,  Bohemia,  Livonia,  the  shores  of  the  Black  Sea, 


August  17.]  lives  OF  the  saints.  357 

Tartary,  and  Northern  China  on  the  east,  and  Sweden  and  Nor- 
way to  the  west,  were  evangelized  by  him,  and  he  is  said  to  have 
visited  Scotland.  Everywhere  multitudes  were  converted,  churches 
and  convents  were  built ;  one  hundred  and  twenty  thousand 
pagans  and  infidels  were  baptized  by  his  hands.  He  worked 
numerous  miracles,  and  at  Cracow  raised  a  dead  youth  to  life. 
He  had  inherited  from  St.  Dominic  a  most  filial  confidence  in  the 
Mother  of  God;  to  her  he  ascribed  his  success,  and  to  her  aid  he 
looked  for  his  salvation.  When  St.  Hyacinth  was  at  Kiev,  the 
Tartars  sacked  the  town,  but  it  was  only  as  he  finished  Mass  that 
the  Saint  heard  of  the  danger.  Without  waiting  to  unvest,  he 
took  the  ciborium  in  his  hands,  and  was  leaving  the  church.  As 
he  passed  by  an  image  of  Mary  a  voice  said  :  "  Hyacinth,  my  son, 
why  dost  thou  leave  me  behind  ?  Take  me  with  thee,  and  leave 
me  not  to  mine  enemies."  The  statue  was  of  heavy  alabaster; 
but  when  Hyacinth  took  it  in  his  arms,  it  was  light  as  a  reed. 
With  the  Blessed  Sacrament  and  the  image  he  came  to  the  river 
Dnieper,  and  walked  dryshod  over  the  surface  of  the  waters.  On 
the  eve  of  the  Assumption,  he  was  warned  of  his  coming  death. 
In  spite  of  a  wasting  fever,  he  celebrated  Mass  on  the  feast, 
and  communicated  as  a  dying  man.  He  was  anointed  at  the  foot 
of  the  altar,  and  died  the  same  day,  a.d.  1257. 

Reflection. — St.  Hyacinth  teaches  us  to  employ  every  effort 
in  the  service  of  God,  and  to  rely  for  success  not  on  our  own 
industry,  but  on  the  prayer  of  His  Immaculate  Mother. 



UNERIC,  the  Arian  Vandal  king  in  Africa,  in  the  seventh 
year  of  his  reign,  published  fresh  edicts  against  the  Catho- 
lics, and  ordered  their  monasteries  to  be  everywhere  demol- 
ished. Seven  monks,  named  Liberatus,  Boniface,  Servus,  Rusti- 
cus,  Rogatus,  Septimus,  and  Maximus,  who  lived  in  a  monastery 
near  Capsa,  in  the  province  of  Byzacena,  were  at  that  time  sum- 
moned to  Carthage.  They  were  first  tempted  with  great  promises; 
but  as  they  remained  constant  in  the  belief  of  the  Trinity,  and  of 
one  baptism,  they  were  loaded  with  irons  and  thrown  into  a  dark 
dungeon.  The  faithful,  having  bribed  the  guards,  visited  the 
Saints  day  and  night,  to  be  instructed  by  them  and  mutually  to 
encourage  one  another  to  suffer  for  the  faith  of  Christ.  The 
king,  learning  this,  commanded  them  to  be  more  closely  confined, 



[August  17. 

loaded  with  heavier  irons,  and  tortured  with  a  cruelty  never  heard 
of  till  that  time.  Soon  after,  he  condemned  them  to  be  put  into 
an  old  ship  and  burnt  at  sea.  The  martyrs  walked  cheerfully  to 
the  shore,  contemning  the  insults  of  the  Arians  as  they  passed 
along.  Particular  endeavors  were  used  by  the  persecutors  to 
gain  Maximus,  who  was  very  young ;  but  God,  who  makes  the 
tongues  of  children  eloquent  to  praise  His  name,  gave  him 
strength  to  withstand  all  their  efforts,  and  he  boldly  told  them 
that  they  should  never  be  able  to  separate  him  from  his  holy 
abbot  and  brethren,  with  whom  he  had  borne  the  labors  of  a  peni- 

tential life  for  the  sake  of  everlasting  glory.  An  old  vessel  was 
filled  with  dry  sticks,  and  the  seven  martyrs  were  put  on  board 
and  bound  on  the  wood ;  and  fire  was  put  to  it  several  times,  but 
it  went  out  immediately,  and  all  endeavors  to  kindle  it  were  in 
vain.  The  tyrant,  in  rage  and  confusion,  gave  orders  that  the 
martyrs'  brains  should  be  dashed  out  with  oars,  which  was  done, 
and  their  bodies  cast  into  the  sea,  which  threw  them  all  on 
the  shore.  The  Catholics  interred  them  honorably  in  the  monas- 
tery of  Bigua,  near  the  Church  of  St.  Celerinus.  They  suffered 
in  the  year  483. 

Reflection. — "  Let  none  of  you  suffer  as  a  murderer,  or  a  thief, 
or  a  railer,  or  a  coveter  of  other  men's  things ;  but  if  as  a  Christian, 
let  him  not  be  ashamed,  but  let  him  glorify  God  in  that  name." 

August  18.]  lives  of  the  saints.  359 




tT  was  the  pious  boast  of  the  city  of  Colchester,  England,  for 
many  ages,  that  St.  Helena  was  born  within  its  walls ;  and 
though  this  honor  has  been  disputed,  it  is  certain  that  she  was 
a  British  princess.  She  embraced  Christianity  late  in  life  ;  but  her 
incomparable  faith  and  piety  greatly  influenced  her  son  Constan- 
tine,  the  first  Christian  emperor,  and  served  to  kindle  a  holy  zeal  in 
the  hearts  of  the  Roman  people.  Forgetful  of  her  high  dignity, 
she  delighted  to  assist  at  the  Divine  Office  amid  the  poor ;  and 

by  her  alms-deeds  showed  herself  a  mother  to  the  indigent  and 
distressed.  In  her  eightieth  year,  she  made  a  pilgrimage  to  Jeru- 
salem, with  the  ardent  desire  of  discovering  the  cross  on  which 
our  Blessed  Redeemer  suffered.  After  many  labors,  three  crosses 
were  found  on  Mount  Calvary,  together  with  the  nails  and  the 
inscription  recorded  by  the  Evangelists.  It  still  remained  to 
identify  the  true  Cross  of  our  Lord.  By  the  advice  of  the  Bishop, 
Macarius,  the  three  were  applied  successively  to  a  woman  afflicted 
with  an  incurable  disease,  and  no  sooner  had  the  third  touched 
her  than  she  arose  perfectly  healed.  The  pious  empress,  trans- 
ported with  joy,  built  a  most  glorious  church  on  Mount  Calvary 
to  receive  the  precious  relic,  sending  portions  of  it  to  Rome  and 



[August  19. 

Constantinople,  where  they  were  solemnly  exposed  to  the  adora- 
tion of  the  faithful.  In  the  year  312,  Constantine  found  himself 
attacked  by  Maxentius  with  vastly  superior  forces,  and  the  very 
existence  of  his  empire  threatened.  In  this  crisis,  he  bethought 
him  of  the  crucified  Christian  God  whom  his  mother  Helena  wor- 
shipped ;  and  kneeling  down,  prayed  God  to  reveal  Himself  and 
give  him  the  victory.  Suddenly,  at  noonday,  a  cross  of  fire  was 
seen  by  his  army  in  the  calm  and  cloudless  sky,  and  beneath  it 
the  words,  In  hoc  signo  vinces — "  Through  this  sign  thou  shalt  con- 
quer." By  divine  command,  Constantine  made  a  standard  like 
the  cross  he  had  seen,  which  was  borne  at  the  head  of  his  troops ; 
and  under  this  Christian  ensign  they  marched  against  the  enemy, 
and  obtained  a  complete  victory.  Shortly  after,  Helena  herself 
returned  to  Rome,  where  she  expired,  a.d.  328. 

St.  Agapetus  suffered  in  his  youth  a  cruel  martyrdom  at  Prae- 
neste,  now  called  Palestrina,  twenty-four  miles  from  Rome,  under 
Aurelian,  about  the  year  275.  His  name  is  famous  in  the  ancient 
calendars  of  the  Church  of  Rome.  Two  churches  in  Palestrina 
and  others  in  other  places  are  dedicated  to  God  under  his  name. 

Reflection. — St.  Helena  thought  it  the  glory  of  her  life  to  find 
the  cross  of  Christ,  and  to  raise  a  temple  in  its  honor.  How 
many  Christians  in  these  days  are  ashamed  to  make  this  life- 
giving  sign,  and  to  confess  themselves  the  followers  of  the  Cru- 
cified ! 

Tp^HIS  Saint  was  little  nephew  to  St.  Louis,  King  of  France,  and 

nephew,  by  his  mother,  to  St.  Elizabeth  of  Hungary.  He 

was  born  at  Brignoles,  in  Provence,  in  1274.  He  was  a  Saint 
from  the  cradle,  and  from  his  childhood  made  it  his  earnest  study 
to  do  nothing  which  was  not  directed  to  the  divine  service,  and 
with  a  view  only  to  eternity.  Even  his  recreations  he  referred  to 
this  end,  and  chose  only  such  as  were  serious  and  seemed  barely 
necessary  for  the  exercise  of  the  body  and  preserving  the  vigor 
of  the  mind.  His  walks  usually  led  him  to  some  church  or  reli- 
gious house.  It  was  his  chief  delight  to  hear  the  servants  of  God 
discourse  of  mortification  or  the  most  perfect  practices  of  piety. 
His  modesty  and  recollection  in  the  church  inspired  with  devotion 
all  who  saw  him.    When  he  was  only  seven  years  old,  his  mother 


August  19.]  LIVES  OF  the  SAINTS. 


found  him  often  lying  in  the  night  on  a  mat  which  was  spread 
on  the  floor  near  his  bed,  which  he  did  out  of  an  early  spirit 
of  penance.  In  1284,  our  Saint's  father,  Charles  II.,  then  Prince 
of  Salerno,  was  taken  prisoner  in  a  sea-fight  by  the  King 
of  Arragon,  and  was  only  released  on  condition  that  he  sent 
into  Arragon,  as  hostages,  fifty  gentlemen  and  three  of  his 
sons,  one  of  whom  was  our  Saint.  Louis  was  set  at  liberty 
in  1294,  by  a  treaty  concluded  between  the  King  of  Naples, 
his  father,  and  James  II.  King  of  Arragon,  one  condition  of 
which  was  the  marriage  of  his  sister  Blanche  with  the  King  of 

Arragon.  Both  courts  had,  at  the  same  time,  extremely  at  heart 
the  project  of  a  double  marriage,  and  that  the  princess  of  Ma- 
jorca, sister  to  King  James  of  Arragon,  should  be  married  to 
Louis,  but  the  Saint's  resolution  of  dedicating  himself  to  God  was 
inflexible,  and  he  resigned  his  right  to  the  crown  of  Naples, 
which  he  begged  his  father  to  confer  on  his  next  brother,  Robert. 
The  opposition  of  his  family  obliged  the  superiors  of  the  Friar 
Minors  to  refuse  for  some  time  to  admit  him  into  their  body, 
wherefore  he  took  holy  orders  at  Naples.  The  pious  Pope  St. 
Celestine' had  nominated  him  Archbishop  of  Lyons  in  1294;  but, 
as  he  had  not  then  taken  the  tonsure,  he  found  means  to  defeat 
that  project.  Boniface  VIII.  gave  him  a  dispensation  to  receive 
priestly  orders  in  the  twenty-third  year  of  his  age,  and  afterward 


sent  him  a  like  dispensation  for  the  episcopal  character,  together 
with  his  nomination  to  the  archbishopric  of  Toulouse,  and  a 
severe  injunction,  in  virtue  of  holy  obedience,  to  accept  the  same. 
However,  he  first  made  his  religious  profession  among  the  Friar 
Minors  on  Christmas  eve,  1296,  and  received  the  episcopal  con- 
secration in  the  beginning  of  the  February  following.  He  trav- 
elled to  his  bishopric  as  a  poor  religious,  but  was  received  at 
Toulouse  with  the  veneration  due  to  a  Saint  and  the  magnificence 
that  became  a  prince.  His  modesty,  mildness,  and  devotion  in- 
spired a  love  of  piety  in  all  who  beheld  him.  It  was  his  first 
care  to  provide  for  the  relief  of  the  indigent,  and  his  first  visits 
were  made  to  the  hospitals  and  the  poor.  In  his  apostolical  labors, 
he  abated  nothing  of  his  austerities,  said  Mass  every  day,  and 
preached  frequently.  Being  obliged  to  go  into  Provence  for  cer- 
tain very  urgent  ecclesiastical  affairs,  he  fell  sick  at  the  castle  of 
Brignoles.  Finding  his  end  draw  near,  he  received  the  viaticum 
on  his  knees,  melting  in  tears,  and  in  his  last  moments  ceased  not 
to  repeat  the  Hail  Mary.  He  died  on  the  19th  of  August,  1297, 
being  only  twenty-three  years  and  six  months  old. 

V    AUGUST  20.— ST.  BERNARD. 

ERNARD  was  born  at  the  castle  of  Fontaines,  in  Burgundy/ 
The  grace  of  his  person  and  the  vigor  of  his  intellect  filled 
his  parents  with  the  highest  hopes,  and  the  world  lay  bright 
and  smiling  before  him  when  he  renounced  it  forever  and  joined 
the  monks  of  Citeaux.  All  his  brothers  followed  Bernard  to 
Citeaux  except  Nivard,  the  youngest,  who  was  left  to  be  the  stay 
of  his  father  in  his  old  age.  "  You  will  now  be  heir  of  every  thing," 
said  they  to  him,  as  they  departed.  "Yes,"  said  the  boy;  "you 
leave  me  earth,  and  keep  heaven  for  yourselves ;  do  you  call 
that  fair?"  And  he  too  left  the  world.  At  length  their  aged 
father  came  to  exchange  wealth  and  honor  for  the  poverty  of  a 
monk  of  Clairvaux.  One  only  sister  remained  behind  ;  she  was 
married,  and  loved  the  world  and  its  pleasures.  Magnificently 
dressed,  she  visited  Bernard  ;  he  refused  to  see  her,  and  only  at 
last  consented  to  do  so,  not  as  her  brother,  but  as  the  minister  of 
Christ.  The  words  he  then  spoke  moved  her  so  much  that,  two 
years  later,  she  retired  to  a  convent  with  her  husband's  consent, 
and  died  in  the  reputation  of  sanctity.  Bernard's  holy  example 
attracted  so  many  novices  that  other  monasteries  were  erected,  and 
our  Saint  was  appointed  abbot  of  that  of  Clairvaux.  Unspar- 

August  20.] 



ing  with  himself,  he  at  first  expected  too  much  of  his  brethren, 
who  were  disheartened  at  his  severity  ;  but  soon  perceiving  his 
error,  he  led  them  forward,  by  the  sweetness  of  his  correction  and 
the  mildness  of  his  rule,  to  wonderful  perfection.  In  spite  of  his 
desire  to  lie  hid,  the  fame  of  his  sanctity  spread  far  and  wide,  and 
many  churches  asked  for  him  as  their  Bishop.  Through  the  help 
of  Blessed  Eugenius  III.,  his  former  subject,  he  escaped  this  dig- 
nity; yet  his  retirement  was  continually  invaded  :  the  poor  and 
the  weak  sought  his  protection  ;  bishops,  kings,  and  popes  applied 
to  him  for  advice ;  and  at  length  Eugenius  himself  charged  him  to 

preach  the  crusade.  By  his  fervor,  eloquence,  and  miracles,  Ber- 
nard kindled  the  enthusiasm  of  Christendom,  and  two  splendid 
armies  were  despatched  against  the  infidel.  Their  defeat  was 
only  due,  said  the  Saint,  to  their  own  sins.  Bernard  died  a.d. 
1 1 53.  His  most  precious  writings  have  earned  for  him  the  titles 
of  the  last  of  the  Fathers  and  a  Doctor  of  Holy  Church. 

Reflection. — St.  Bernard  used  to  say  to  those  who  applied  for 
admission  to  the  monastery,  "  If  you  desire  to  enter  here,  leave  at 
the  threshold  the  body  you  have  brought  with  you  from  the 
world;  here  there  is  room  only  for  your  soul."  Let  us  con- 
stantly ask  ourselves  St.  Bernard's  daily  question,  "  To  what  end 
didst  thou  come  hither?" 



[August  21. 


tT  the  age  of  sixteen,  Jane  Frances  de  Fremyot,  already  a 
motherless  child,  was  placed  under  the  care  of  a  worldly- 
minded  governess.  In  this  crisis,  she  offered  herself  to  the 
Mother  of  God,  and  secured  Mary's  protection  for  life.  When  a 
Protestant  sought  her  hand,  she  steadily  refused  to  marry  "  an 
enemy  of  God  and  His  Church,"  and  shortly  afterwards,  as  the 
loving  and  beloved  wife  of  the  Baron  de  Chantal,  made  her  house 
the  pattern  of  a  Christian  home.  But  God  had  marked  her  for 
something  higher  than  domestic  sanctity.    Two  children  and  a 

dearly-loved  sister  died,  and,  in  the  full  tide  of  prosperity,  her 
husband's  life  was  taken  by  the  innocent  hand  of  a  friend.  For 
seven  years  the  sorrows  of  her  widowhood  were  increased  by  ill- 
usage  from  servants  and  inferiors,  and  the  cruel  importunities  of 
friends,  who  urged  her  to  marry  again.  Harassed  almost  to 
despair  by  their  entreaties,  she  branded  on  her  heart  the  name  of 
Jesus,  and  in  the  end  left  her  beloved  home  and  children  to  live 
for  God  alone.  It  was  on  the  19th  of  March,  1609,  that  Madame 
de  Chantal  bade  farewell  to  her  family  and  relations.  Pale,  and 
with  tears  in  her  eyes,  she  passed  round  the  large  room,  sweetly 
and  humbly  taking  leave  of  each.  Her  son,  a  boy  of  fifteen,  used 
every  entreaty,  every  endearment,  to  induce  his  mother  not  to 

August  22.] 



leave  them,  and  at  last  passionately  flung  himself  across  the  door 
of  the  room.  In  an  agony  of  distress,  she  passed  on  over  the  body 
of  her  son  to  the  embrace  of  her  aged  and  disconsolate  father. 
The  anguish  of  that  parting  reached  its  height  when,  kneeling  at 
the  feet  of  the  venerable  old  man,  she  sought  and  obtained  his  last 
blessing,  promising  to  repay  in  her  new  home  his  sacrifice  by  her 
prayers.  Well  might  St.  Francis  call  her  "  the  valiant  woman." 
She  was  to  found  with  St.  Francis  de  Sales  a  great  Order.  Sick- 
ness, opposition,  want,  beset  her,  and  the  death  of  children,  friends, 
and  of  St.  Francis  himself  followed,  while  eighty-seven  houses  of 
the  Visitation  rose  under  her  hand.  Nine  long  years  of  interior 
desolation  completed  the  work  of  God's  grace;  and  in  her  seven- 
tieth year,  St.  Vincent  of  Paul  saw,  at  the  moment  of  her  death, 
her  soul  ascend,  as  a  ball  of  fire,  to  heaven. 

Reflection. — Profit  by  the  successive  trials  of  life  to  gain  the 
strength  and  courage  of  St.  Jane  Frances,  and  they  will  become 
stepping-stones  from  earth  to  heaven. 


tBOUT  the  year  180,  there  was  a  great  procession  of  the 
heathen  goddess  Ceres,  at  Autun,  in  France.  Amongst  the 
crowd  was  one  who  refused  to  pay  the  ordinary  marks  of 
worship.  He  was  therefore  dragged  before  the  magistrate  and 
accused  of  sacrilege  and  sedition.  When  asked  his  name  and 
condition,  he  replied,  "  My  name  is  Symphorian  ;  I  am  a  Chris- 
tian." He  came  of  a  noble  and  Christian  family.  He  was  still 
young,  and  so  innocent  that  he  was  said  to  converse  with  the  holy 
angels.  The  Christians  of  Autun  were  few  and  little  known,  and 
the  judge  could  not  believe  that  the  youth  was  serious  in  his  pur- 
pose. He  caused  the  laws  enforcing  heathen  worship  to  be  read, 
and  looked  for  a  speedy  compliance.  Symphorian  replied  that  he 
must  obey  the  laws  of  the  King  of  kings.  "  Give  me  a  hammer," 
he  said,  "and  I  will  break  your  idol  in  pieces."  He  was  scourged 
and  thrown  into  a  dungeon.  Some  days  later,  this  son  of  light 
came  forth  from  the  darkness  of  his  prison,  haggard  and  worn, 
but  full  of  joy.  He  despised  the  riches  and  honors  offered  to  him 
as  he  had  despised  torments.  He  died  by  the  sword,  and  went 
to  the  court  of  the  heavenly  King.  The  mother  of  St.  Sympho- 
rian stood  on  the  city  walls  and  saw  her  son  led  out  to  die.  She 
knew  the  honors  he  had  refused  and  the  dishonor  of  his  death,  but 



[August  23. 

she  esteemed  the  reproach  of  Christ  better  than  all  the  riches  of 
Egypt,  and  she  cried  out  to  him,  "  My  son,  my  son,  keep  the  liv- 
ing God  in  your  heart;  look  up  to  Him  who  reigns  in  heaven." 
Thus  she  shared  in  the  glory  of  his  passion,  and  her  name  lives 
with  his  in  the  records  of  the  Church.  Little  more  than  a  cen- 
tury later,  the  Roman  Empire  bowed  before  the  faith  of  Christ. 
Many  miracles  spread  the  glory  of  St.  Symphorian,  and  of  Christ 
the  King  of  Saints. 

Reflection. — The  Catholic  religion  teaches  us  to  be  subject 
to  every  rightful  authority.  But  no  earthly  authority  has  any 
right  against  Christ  and  His  Church.  If  we  are  accused  of  sedi- 
tion or  disobedience  because  we  are  faithful  to  our  religion,  then 
Ave  must  choose  as  St.  Symphorian  chose,  and  obey  God  rather 
than  man. 


T.  PHILIP  BENIZI  was  born  in  Florence,  on  the  Feast  of 
the  Assumption,  1233.  That  same  day,  the  Order  of  Servites 
was  founded  by  the  Mother  of  God.  As  an  infant  at  the 
breast,  Philip  broke  out  into  speech  at  the  sight  of  these  new  reli- 
gious, and  begged  his  mother  to  give  them  alms.  Amidst  all  the 
temptations  of  his  youth,  he  longed  to  become  himself  a  servant 

August  23.] 



of  Mary,  and  it  was  only  the  fear  of  his  own  unworthiness  which 
made  him  yield  to  his  father's  wish  and  begin  to  practise  medi- 
cine. After  long  and  weary  waiting,  his  doubts  were  solved  by 
our  Lady  herself,  who  in  a  vision  bade  him  enter  her  Order. 
Still  Philip  dared  only  offer  himself  as  a  lay  brother,  and  in  this 
humble  state  he  strove  to  do  penance  for  his  sins.  In  spite  of 
his  reluctance,  he  was  promoted  to  the  post  of  master  of  novices; 
and  as  his  rare  abilities  were  daily  discovered,  he  was  bidden  to 
prepare  for  the  priesthood.  Thenceforth  honors  were  heaped 
upon  him ;  he  became  general  of  the  Order,  and  only  escaped  by 

flight  elevation  to  the  Papal  throne.  His  preaching  restored 
peace  to  Italy,  which  was  wasted  by  civil  wars ;  and  at  the  Coun- 
cil of  Lyons,  he  spoke  to  the  assembled  prelates  with  the  gift  of 
tongues.  Amid  all  these  favors,  Philip  lived  in  extreme  penitence, 
constantly  examining  his  soul  before  the  judgment-seat  of  God, 
and  condemning  himself  as  only  fit  for  hell.  St.  Philip,  though 
he  was  free  from  the  stain  of  mortal  sin,  was  never  weary  of  be- 
seeching God's  mercy.  From  the  time  he  was  ten  years  old,  he 
said  daily  the  Penitential  Psalms.  On  his  death-bed  he  kept  re- 
citing the  verses  of  the  Miserere^  with  his  cheeks  streaming  with 
tears ;  and  during  his  agony,  he  went  through  a  terrible  contest 
to  overcome  the  fear  of  damnation.  But  a  few  minutes  before  he 
died,  all  his  doubts  disappeared  and  were  succeeded  by  a  holy 
trust.    He  uttered  the  responses  in  a  low  but  audible  voice;  and 



when  at  last  the  Mother  of  God  appeared  before  him,  he  lifted  up 
his  arms  with  joy  and  breathed  a  gentle  sigh,  as  if  placing  his 
soul  in  her  hand.    He  died  on  the  Octave  of  the  Assumption,  1285. 

Reflection. — Endeavor  so  to  act  as  you  would  wish  to  have 
acted  when  you  stand  before  your  Judge.  This  is  the  rule  of  the 
Saints,  and  the  only  safe  rule  for  all. 

T.  BARTHOLOMEW  was  one  of  the  twelve  who  were 

called  to  the  Apostolate  by  our  Blessed   Lord  Himself. 

Several  learned  interpreters  of  the  Holy  Scripture  take  this 
Apostle  to  have  been  the  same  as  Nathaniel,  a  native  of  Cana,  in 
Galilee,  a  doctor  in  the  Jewish  law,  and  one  of  the  seventy-two 
disciples  of  Christ,  to  whom  he  was  conducted  by  St.  Philip,  and 
whose  innocence  and  simplicity  of  heart  deserved  to  be  celebrated 
with  the  highest  eulogium  by  the  divine  mouth  of  our  Redeemer. 
He  is  mentioned  among  the  disciples  who  were  met  together  in 

prayer  after  Christ's  ascension,  and  he  received  the  Holy  Ghost 
with  the  rest.  Being  eminently  qualified  by  the  Divine  Grace  to 
discharge  the  functions  of  an  apostle,  he  carried  the  Gospel 
through  the  most  barbarous  countries  of  the  East,  penetrating 


August  25.] 



into  the  remoter  Indies.  He  then  returned  again  into  the  north- 
west part  of  Asia,  and  met  St.  Philip  at  Hierapolis,  in  Phrygia, 
Hence  he  travelled  into  Lycaonia,  where  he  instructed  the  people 
in  the  Christian  faith ;  but  we  know  not  even  the  names  of  many 
of  the  countries  in  which  he  preached.  St.  Bartholomew's  last 
removal  was  into  Great  Armenia,  where,  preaching  in  a  place 
obstinately  addicted  to  the  worship  of  idols,  he  was  crowned  with 
a  glorious  martyrdom.  The  modern  Greek  historians  say  that 
he  was  condemned  by  the  governor  of  Albanopolis  to  be  cruci- 
fied. Others  affirm  that  he  was  flayed  alive,  which  might  well 
enough  consist  with  his  crucifixion,  this  double  punishment  being 
in  use  not  only  in  Egypt,  but  also  among  the  Persians. 

Reflection. — The  characteristic  virtue  of  the  apostles  was 
zeal  for  the  divine  glory,  the  first  property  of  the  love  of  God. 
A  soldier  is  always  ready  to  defend  the  honor  of  his  prince,  and 
a  son  that  of  his  father ;  and  can  a  Christian  say  he  loves  God 
who  is  indifferent  to  His  honor  ? 


HE  mother  of  Louis  told  him  she  would  rather  see  him  die  than 
commit  a  mortal  sin,  and  he  never  forgot  her  words.  King 
of  France  at  the  age  of  twelve,  he  made  the  defence  of 
God's  honor  the  aim  of  his  life.  Before  two  years,  he  had  crushed 
the  Albigensian  heretics,  and  forced  them  by  stringent  penalties 
to  respect  the  Catholic  faith.  Amidst  the  cares  of  government,  he 
daily  recited  the  Divine  Office  and  heard  two  Masses,  and  the  most 
glorious  churches  in  France  are  still  monuments  of  his  piety. 
When  his  courtiers  remonstrated  with  Louis  for  his  law  that 
blasphemers  should  be  branded  on  the  lips,  he  replied,  "  I  would 
willingly  have  my  own  lips  branded  to  root  out  blasphemy  from 
my  kingdom."  The  fearless  protector  of  the  weak  and  the  op- 
pressed, he  was  chosen  to  arbitrate  in  all  the  great  feuds  of  his  age 
between  the  Pope  and  the  Emperor,  between  Henry  III.  and  the 
English  barons.  In  1248,  to  rescue  the  land  which  Christ  had  trod, 
he  gathered  round  him  the  chivalry  of  France,  and  embarked  for 
the  East.  There,  before  the  infidel,  in  victory  or  defeat,  on  the  bed 
of  sickness  or  a  captive  in  chains,  Louis  showed  himself  ever  the 
same,  the  first,  the  best,  and  the  bravest  of  Christian  knights.  When 
a  captive  at  Damietta,  an  Emir  rushed  into  his  tent  brandishing  a 


dagger  red  with  the  blood  of  the  Sultan,  and  threatened  to  stab  him 
also  unless  he  would  make  him  a  knight,  as  the  Emperor  Frede- 
rick had  Facardin.  Louis  calmly  replied  that  no  unbeliever  could 
perform  the  duties  of  a  Christian  knight.  In  the  same  captivity, 
he  was  offered  his  liberty  on  terms  lawful  in  themselves,  but  en- 
forced by  an  oath  which  implied  a  blasphemy,  and  though  the 
infidels  held  their  swords'  points  at  his  throat,  and  threatened  a 
massacre  of  the  Christians,  Louis  inflexibly  refused.  The  death 
of  his  mother  recalled  him  to  France  ;  but  when  order  was  re-es- 
tablished, he  again  set  forth  on  a  second  crusade.    In  August, 

1270,  his  army  landed  at  Tunis,  and,  though  victorious  over  the 
enemy,  succumbed  to  a  malignant  fever.  Louis  was  one  of  the 
victims.  He  received  the  Viaticum  kneeling  by  his  camp-bed, 
and  gave  up  his  life  with  the  same  joy  that  he  had  given  all  else 
for  the  honor  of  God. 

Reflection. — If  we  cannot  imitate  St.  Louis  in  dying  for  the 
honor  of  God,  we  can  at  least  resemble  him  in  resenting  the 
blasphemies  offered  against  God  by  the  infidel,  the  heretic,  and 
the  scoffer. 

August  26.] 




fT.  ZEPHYRINUS,  a  native  of  Rome,  succeeded  Victor  in  the 
pontificate,  in  the  year  202,  in  which  Severus  raised  the  fifth 
most  bloody  persecution  against  the  Church,  which  con- 
tinued not  for  two  years  only,  but  until  the  death  of  that  emperor 
in  211.  Under  this  furious  storm  this  holy  pastor  was  the  sup- 
port and  comfort  of  the  distressed  flock  of  Christ,  and  he  suffered 
by  charity  and  compassion  what  every  confessor  underwent.  The 
triumphs  of  the  martyrs  were  indeed  his  joy,  but  his  heart  re- 
ceived many  deep  wounds  from  the  fall  of  apostates  and  heretics. 
Neither  did  this  latter  affliction  cease  when  peace  was  restored  to 

the  Church.  Our  Saint  had  also  the  affliction  to  sec  the  fall  of 
Tertullian,  which  seems  to  have  been  owing  partly  to  his  pride. 
Eusebius  tells  us  that  this  holy  Pope  exerted  his  zeal  so  strenu- 
ously against  the  blasphemies  of  the  heretics  that  they  treated  him 
in  the  most  contumelious  manner;  but  it  was  his  glory  that  they 
called  him  the  principal  defender  of  Christ's  divinity.  St.  Zephy- 
rinus  filled  the  pontifical  chair  seventeen  years,  dying  in  219.  He 
was  buried  in  his  own  cemetery,  on  the  26th  of  August.  He  is,  in 
some  Martyrologies,  styled  a  martyr,  which  title  he  might  deserve 
by  what  he  suffered  in  the  persecution,  though  he  perhaps  did  not 
die  by  the  executioner. 


Reflection. — God  has  always  raised  up  holy  pastors  zealous 
to  maintain  the  faith  of  His  Church  inviolable,  and  to  watch  over 
the  purity  of  its  morals  and  the  sanctity  of  its  discipline.  We 
enjoy  the  greatest  advantages  of  the  divine  grace  through  their 
labors,  and  we  owe  to  God  a  tribute  of  perpetual  thanksgiving 
and  immortal  praise  for  all  those  mercies  which  He  has  afforded 
His  Church  on  earth. 


T.  JOSEPH  CALASANCTIUS  was  born  in  Arragon,  a.d. 
1556.  When  only  five  years  old,  he  led  a  troop  of  children 
through  the  streets  to  find  the  devil  and  kill  him.  He  be- 
came a  priest,  and  was  engaged  in  various  reforms,  when  he  heard 
a  voice  saying,  "  Go  to  Rome,"  and  had  a  vision  of  many  children 
who  were  being  taught  by  him  and  by  a  company  of  angels. 
When  he  reached  the  Holy  City,  his  heart  was  moved  by  the  vice 
and  ignorance  of  the  children  of  the  poor.    Their  need  mastered 

his  humility,  and  he  founded  the  Order  of  Clerks  Regular  of  the 
Pious  Schools.  He  himself  provided  all  that  was  necessary  for 
the  education  of  the  children,  receiving  nothing  from  them  in 
payment,  and  there  were  soon  about  a  thousand  scholars  of  every 

August  28.] 



rank  under  his  care.  Each  lesson  began  with  prayer.  Every  half- 
hour  devotion  was  renewed  by  acts  of  faith,  hope,  and  charity,  and 
towards  the  end  of  school-time  the  children  were  instructed  in  the 
Christian  doctrine.  They  were  then  escorted  home  by  the  mas- 
ters, so  as  to  escape  all  harm  by  the  way.  But  enemies  arose 
against  Joseph  from  among  his  own  subjects.  They  accused  him 
to  the  Holy  Office,  and  at  the  age  of  eighty-six  he  was  led  through 
the  streets  to  prison.  At  last  the  Order  was  reduced  to  a  simple 
congregation.  It  was  not  restored  to  its  former  privileges  till 
after  the  Saint's  death.  Yet  he  died  full  of  hope.  "My  work," 
he  said,  "  was  done  solely  for  the  love  of  God." 

Reflection. — "  My  children,"  said  the  Cure  of  Ars,  "  I  often 
think  that  most  of  the  Christians  who  are  lost  are  lost  for  want  of 
instruction ;  they  do  not  know  their  religion  well." 


violent  pa-ssions,  he  early  lost  both  his  faith  and  his  innocence. 
He  persisted  in  his  irregular  life  until  he  was  thirty-two.  Being 
then  at  Milan  professing  rhetoric,  he  tells  us  that  the  faith  of  his 



[August  29. 

childhood  had  regained  possession  of  his  intellect,  but  that  he 
could  not  as  yet  resolve  to  break  the  chains  of  evil  habit.  One 
day,  however,  stung  to  the  heart  by  the  account  of  some  sudden 
conversions,  he  cried  out,  "  The  unlearned  rise  and  storm  heaven, 
and  we,  with  all  our  learning,  for  lack  of  heart  lie  wallowing 
here."  He  then  withdrew  into  a  garden,  when  a  long  and  terrible 
conflict  ensued.  Suddenly  a  young  fresh  voice  (he  knows  not 
whose)  breaks  in  upon  his  strife  with  the  words,  "  Take  and 
read;"  and  he  lights  upon  the  passage  beginning,  "  Walk  hon- 
estly as  in  the  day."  The  battle  was  won.  He  received  baptism, 
returned  home,  and  gave  all  to  the  poor.  At  Hippo,  where  he 
settled,  he  was  consecrated  bishop  in  395.  For  thirty-five  years 
he  was  the  centre  of  ecclesiastical  life  in  Africa,  and  the  Church's 
mightiest  champion  against  heresy ;  whilst  his  writings  have  been 
everywhere  accepted  as  one  of  the  principal  sources  of  devotional 
thought  and  theological  speculation.    He  died  in  430. 

Reflection. — Read  the  lives  of  the  Saints,  and  you  will  find 
that  you  are  gradually  creating  a  society  about  you  to  which  in 
some  measure  you  will  be  forced  to  raise  the  standard  of  your 
daily  life. 


>©T.  JOHN  THE  BAPTIST  was  called  by  God  to  be  the  fore- 

runner of  his  Divine  Son.    In  order  to  preserve  his  innocence 

spotless,  and  to  improve  the  extraordinary  graces  which  he 
had  received,  he  was  directed  by  the  Holy  Ghost  to  lead  an  austere 
and  contemplative  life  in  the  wilderness,  in  the  continual  exer- 
cises of  devout  prayer  and  penance,  from  his  infancy  till  he  was 
thirty  years  of  age.  At  this  age,  the  faithful  minister  began  to 
discharge  his  mission.  Clothed  with  the  weeds  of  penance,  he  an- 
nounced to  all  men  the  obligation  they  lay  under  of  washing 
away  their  iniquities  with  the  tears  of  sincere  compunction  ;  and 
proclaimed  the  Messiah,  who  was  then  coming  to  make  his  ap- 
pearance among  them.  He  was  received  by  the  people  as  the  true 
herald  of  the  Most  High  God,  and  his  voice  was,  as  it  were,  a 
trumpet  sounding  from  heaven  to  summon  all  men  to  avert  the 
divine  judgments,  and  to  prepare  themselves  to  reap  the  benefit  of 
the  mercy  that  was  offered  them.  The  tetrarch  Herod  Antipas 
having,  in  defiance  of  all  laws  divine  and  human,  married  Hero- 
dias,  the  wife  of  his  brother  Philip,  who  was  yet  living,  St.  John 
the  Baptist  boldly  reprehended  the  tetrarch  and  his  accomplice  for 

August  29.] 



so  scandalous  an  incest  and  adultery,  and  Herod,  urged  on  by  lust 
and  anger,  cast  the  Saint  into  prison.  About  a  year  after  St.  John 
had  been  made  a  prisoner,  Herod  gave  a  splendid  entertainment 
to  the  nobility  of  Galilee.  Salome,  a  daughter  of  Herodias  by 
her  lawful  husband,  pleased  Herod  by  her  dancing,  insomuch  that 
he  promised  her  to  grant  whatever  she  asked.  On  this,  Salome 
consulted  with  her  mother  what  to  ask.  Herodias  instructed  her 
daughter  to  demand  the  death  of  John  the  Baptist,  and  persuaded 
the  young  damsel  to  make  it  part  of  her  petition  that  the  head  of 
the  prisoner  should  be  forthwith  brought  to  her  in  a  dish.  This 

strange  request  startled  the  tyrant  himself ;  he  assented,  how- 
ever, and  sent  a  soldier  of  his  guard  to  behead  the  Saint  in  prison, 
with  an  order  to  bring  his  head  in  a  charger  and  present  it  to 
Salome,  who  delivered  it  to  her  mother.  St.  Jerome  relates  that 
the  furious  Herodias  made  it  her  inhuman  pastime  to  prick  the 
sacred  tongue  with  a  bodkin.  Thus  died  the  great  forerunner  of 
our  blessed  Saviour,  about  two  years  and  three  months  after 
his  entrance  upon  his  public  ministry,  about  a  year  before  the 
death  of  our  blessed  Redeemer. 

Reflection. — All  the  high  graces  with  which  St.  John  was 
favored  sprang  from  his  humility  ;  in  this  all  his  other  virtues  were 
founded.  If  we  desire  to  form  ourselves  upon  so  great  a  model, 
we  must,  above  all  things,  labor  to  lay  the  same  deep  foundation. 



[August  30. 


fHIS  lovely  flower  of  sanctity,  the  first  canonized  Saint  of  the 
New  World,  was  born  at  Lima  in  1586.  She  was  christened 
Isabel,  but  the  beauty  of  her  infant  face  earned  for  her  the 
title  of  Rose,  which  she  ever  after  bore.  As  a  child,  while  still  in 
the  cradle,  her  silence  under  a  painful  surgical  operation  proved 
the  thirst  for  suffering  already  consuming  her  heart.  At  an  early 
age  she  took  service  to  support  her  impoverished  parents,  and 
worked  for  them  day  and  night.  In  spite  of  hardships  and  aus- 
terities, her  beauty  ripened  with  increasing  age,  and  she  was  much 
and  openly  admired.  From  fear  of  vanity  she  cut  off  her  hair,  blis- 
tered her  face  with  pepper  and  her  hands  with  lime.  For  further 
security  she  enrolled  herself  in  the  Third  Order  of  St.  Dominic, 
took  St.  Catherine  of  Siena  as  her  model,  and  redoubled  her  pen- 
ance. Her  cell  was  a  garden  hut,  her  couch  a  box  of  broken 
tiles.  Under  her  habit  Rose  wore  a  hair-shirt  studded  with  iron 
nails,  while,  concealed  by  her  veil,  a  silver  crown  armed  with 
ninety  points  encircled  her  head.  More  than  once,  when  she 
shuddered  at  the  prospect  of  a  night  of  torture,  a  voice  said,  "  My 
Cross  was  yet  more  painful."  The  Blessed  Sacrament  seemed  al- 
most her  only  food.  Her  love  for  it  was  intense.  When  the 
Dutch  fleet  prepared  to  attack  the  town,  Rose  took  her  place  be- 
fore the  tabernacle,  and  wept  that  she  was  not  worthy  to  die  in  its 

August  30.] 



defence.  All  her  sufferings  were  offered  for  the  conversion  of  sin- 
ners, and  the  thought  of  the  multitudes  in  hell  was  ever  before  her 
soul.    She  died  a.d.  161 7,  at  the  age  of  thirty-one. 

Reflection. — Rose,  pure  as  driven  snow,  was  filled  with  deep- 
est contrition  and  humility,  and  did  constant  and  terrible  penance. 
Our  sins  are  continual,  our  repentance  passing,  our  contrition 
slight,  our  penance  nothing.    How  will  it  fare  with  us  ? 


fT.  FIAKER  was  nobly  born  in  Ireland,  and  had  his  education 
under  the  care  of  a  bishop  of  eminent  sanctity,  who  was 
according  to  some,  Conan,  Bishop  of  Soder,  or  the  Western 
Islands.  Looking  upon  all  worldly  advantages  as  dross,  he  left 
his  country  and  friends  in  the  flower  of  his  age,  and  with  certain 
pious  companions  sailed  over  to  France,  in  quest  of  some  soli- 
tude in  which  he  might  devote  himself  to  God,  unknown  to  the 
rest  of  the  world.    Divine  Providence  conducted  him  to  St.  Faro, 

who  was  the  Bishop  of  Meaux,  and  eminent  for  sanctity.  When 
St.  Fiaker  addressed  himself  to  him,  the  prelate,  charmed  with 
the  marks  of  extraordinary  virtue  and  abilities  which  he  dis- 
covered in  this  stranger,  gave  him  a  solitary  dwelling  in  a  forest 



[August  31. 

called  Breuil,  which  was  his  own  patrimony,  two  leagues  from 
Meaux.  In  this  place  the  holy  anchorite  cleared  the  ground  of 
trees  and  briers,  made  himself  a  cell,  with  a  small  garden,  and 
built  an  oratory  in  honor  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  in  which  he 
spent  great  part  of  the  days  and  nights  in  devout  prayer.  He 
tilled  his  garden,  and  labored  with  his  own  hands  for  his  subsist- 
ence. The  life  he  led  was  most  austere,  and  only  necessity  or 
charity  ever  interrupted  his  exercises  of  prayer  and  heavenly  con- 
templation. Many  resorted  to  him  for  advice,  and  the  poor  for  re- 
lief. But,  following  an  inviolable  rule  among  the  Irish  monks,  he 
never  suffered  any  woman  to  enter  the  inclosure  of  his  hermitage. 
St.  Chillen,  or  Kilian,  an  Irishman  of  high  birth,  on  his  return 
from  Rome,  visited  St.  Fiaker,  who  was  his  kinsman,  and  having 
passed  some  time  under  his  discipline,  was  directed  by  his  advice, 
with  the  authority  of  the  bishops,  to  preach  in  that  and  the  neigh- 
boring dioceses.  This  commission  he  executed  with  admirable 
sanctity  and  fruit.  St.  Fiaker  died  about  the  year  670,  on  the  30th 
of  August. 

Reflection. — Ye  who  love  indolence,  ponder  well  these  words 
of  St.  Paul  :  "  If  any  man  will  not  work,  neither  let  him  eat." 

T.  RAYMUND  NONNATUS  was  born  in  Catalonia,  in  the 

year  1204,  and  was  descended  of  a  gentleman's  family  of  a 

small  fortune.  In  his  childhood  he  seemed  to  find  pleasure 
only  in  his  devotions  and  serious  duties.  His  father,  perceiv- 
ing in  him  an  inclination  to  a  religious  state,  took  him  from 
school,  and  sent  him  to  take  care  of  a  farm  which  he  had  in  the 
country.  Raymund  readily  obeyed,  and,  in  order  to  enjoy  the 
opportunity  of  holy  solitude,  kept  the  sheep  himself,  and  spent 
his  time  in  the  mountains  and  forests  in  holy  meditation  and 
prayer.  Some  time  after,  he  joined  the  new  Order  of  our  Lady  of 
Mercy  for  the  redemption  of  captives,  and  was  admitted  to  his 
profession  at  Barcelona  by  the  holy  founder,  St.  Peter  Nolasco. 
Within  two  or  three  years  after  his  profession,  he  was  sent  into 
Barbary  with  a  considerable  sum  of  money,  where  he  purchased, 
at  Algiers,  the  liberty  of  a  great  number  of  slaves.  When  all  this 
treasure  was  exhausted,  he  gave  himself  up  as  a  hostage  for  the 
ransom  of  certain  others.  This  magnanimous  sacrifice  served  only 
to  exasperate  the  Mohammedans,  who  treated  him  with  uncom- 


August  31.] 



mon  barbarity,  till,  fearing  lest  if  he  died  in  their  hands  they  should 
lose  the  ransom  which  was  to  be  paid  for  the  slaves  for  whom 
he  remained  a  hostage,  they  gave  orders  that  he  should  be  treated 
with  more  humanity.  Hereupon  he  was  permitted  to  go  abroad 
about  the  streets,  which  liberty  he  made  use  of  to  comfort  and 
encourage  the  Christians  in  their  chains,  and  he  converted  and 
baptized  some  Mohammedans.  For  this  the  governor  condemned 
him  to  be  put  to  death  by  thrusting  a  stake  into  the  body,  but 
his  punishment  was  commuted,  and  he  underwent  a  cruel  basti- 
nado.   This  torment  did  not  daunt  his  courage.    So  long  as  he 

saw  souls  in  danger  of  perishing  eternally,  he  thought  he  had  yet 
done  nothing.  St.  Raymund  had  no  more  money  to  employ  in 
releasing  poor  captives,  and  to  speak  to  a  Mohammedan  upon  the 
subject  of  religion  was  death.  He  could,  however,  still  exert  his 
endeavors,  with  hopes  of  some  success,  or  of  dying  a  martyr  of 
charity.  He  therefore  resumed  his  former  method  of  instructing 
and  exhorting  both  the  Christians  and  the  infidels.  The  governor, 
who  was  enraged,  ordered  our  Saint  to  be  barbarously  tortured 
and  imprisoned  till  his  ransom  was  brought  by  some  religious  men 
of  his  Order,  who  were  sent  with  it  by  St.  Peter.  Upon  his  return 
to  Spain,  he  was  nominated  cardinal  by  Pope  Gregory  IX.,  and 
the  Pope,  being  desirous  to  have  so  holy  a  man  about  his  person, 
called  him  to  Rome.    The  Saint  obeyed,  but  went  no  further  than 



[September  i. 

Cardona,  when  he  was  seized  with  a  violent  fever,  which  proved 
mortal.  He  died  on  the  31st  of  August,  in  the  year  1240,  the  thirty- 
seventh  of  his  age. 

Reflection. — This  Saint  gave  not  only  his  substance  but  his 
liberty,  and  even  exposed  himself  to  the  most  cruel  torments  and 
death,  for  the  redemption  of  captives  and  the  salvation  of  souls. 
But  alas  !  do  not  we,  merely  to  gratify  our  prodigality,  vanity,  or 
avarice,  refuse  to  give  the  superfluous  part  of  our  possessions  to 
the  poor,  who  for  want  of  it  are  perishing  with  cold  and  hunger? 
Let  us  remember  that  "  He  that  giveth  to  the  poor  shall  not  want." 


T.  GILES,  whose  name  has  been  held  in  great  veneration  for 
several  ages  in  France  and  England,  is  said  to  have  been  an 
Athenian  by  birth,  and  of  noble  extraction.  His  extraordi- 
nary piety  and  learning  drew  the  admiration  of  the  world  upon 
him  in  such  a  manner  that  it  was  impossible  for  him  to  enjoy  in 

his  own  country  that  obscurity  and  retirement  which  was  the 
chief  object  of  his  desires  on  earth.  He  therefore  sailed  to  France, 
and  chose  an  hermitage  first  in  the  open  deserts  near  the  mouth 
of  the  Rhone,  afterward  near  the  river  Gard,  and  lastly  in  a  for- 

September  2.] 



est  in  the  diocese  of  Nismes.  He  passed  many  years  in  this  close 
solitude,  living  on  wild  herbs  or  roots  and  water,  and  conversing 
only  with  God.  We  read  in  his  life  that  he  was  for  some  time  nour- 
ished with  the  milk  of  a  hind  in  the  forest,  which,  being  pursued 
by  hunters,  fled  for  refuge  to  the  Saint,  who  was  thus  discovered. 
The  reputation  of  the  sanctity  of  this  holy  hermit  was  much  in- 
creased by  many  miracles  which  he  wrought,  and  which  rendered 
his  name  famous  throughout  all  France.  St.  Giles  was  highly 
esteemed  by  the  French  king,  but  could  not  be  prevailed  upon 
to  forsake  his  solitude.  He,  however,  admitted  several  disciples, 
and  settled  excellent  discipline  in  the  monastery  of  which  he  was 
the  founder,  and  which,  in  succeeding  ages,  became  a  flourishing 
abbey  of  the  Benedictine  Order. 

Reflection. — He  who  accompanies  the  exercises  of  contem- 
plation and  arduous  penance  with  zealous  and  undaunted  endeav- 
ors to  conduct  others  to  the  same  glorious  term  with  himself,  shall 
be  truly  great  in  the  kingdom  of  heaven. 


EYSA,  fourth  Duke  of  Hungary,  was,  with  his  wife,  con- 
verted to  the  faith,  and  saw  in  a  vision  the  martyr  St. 
Stephen,  who  told  him  that  he  should  have  a  son,  who  would 
perfect  the  work  he  had  begun.  This  son  was  born  a.d.  977,  and 
received  the  name  of  Stephen.  He  was  most  carefully  educated, 
and  succeeded  his  father  at  an  early  age.  He  began  to  root  out 
idolatry,  suppressed  a  rebellion  of  his  pagan  subjects,  and  founded 
monasteries  and  churches  all  over  the  land.  He  sent  to  Pope 
Sylvester,  begging  him  to  appoint  bishops  to  the  eleven  sees  he 
had  endowed,  and  to  bestow  on  him,  for  the  greater  success  of  his 
work,  the  title  of  king.  The  Pope  granted  his  requests,  and  sent 
him  a  cross  to  be  borne  before  him,  saying  that  he  regarded  him 
as  the  true  apostle  of  his  people.  His  devotion  was  fervent. 
He  placed  his  realms  under  the  protection  of  our  Blessed  Lady, 
and  kept  the  feast  of  her  Assumption  with  peculiar  affection. 
He  gave  good  laws,  and  saw  to  their  execution.  Throughout  his 
life,  we  are  told,  he  had  Christ  on  his  lips,  Christ  in  his  heart,  and 
Christ  in  all  he  did.  His  only  wars  were  wars  of  defence,  and  he 
was  always  successful.  God  sent  him  many  and  sore  trials.  One 
by  one  his  children  died,  but  he  bore  all  with  perfect  submission 
to  the  will  of  God.    When  St.  Stephen  was  about  to  die,  he  sum- 



[September  3. 

moned  the  bishops  and  nobles,  and  gave  them  charge  concerning 
the  choice  of  a  successor.  Then  he  urged  them  to  nurture  and 
cherish  the  Catholic  Church,  which  was  still  as  a  tender  plant  in 
Hungary,  to  follow  justice,  humility,  and  charity,  to  be  obedient 
to  the  laws,  and  to  show  ever  a  reverent  submission  to  the  Holy 
See.  Then,  raising  his  eyes  towards  heaven,  he  said,  "  O  Queen  of 
Heaven,  august  restorer  of  a  prostrate  world,  to  thy  care  I  com- 
mend the  Holy  Church,  my  people  and  my  realm,  and  my  own 
departing  soul."  And  then,  on  his  favorite  feast  of  the  Assump- 
tion, a.d.  1038,  he  died  in  peace. 

Reflection. — "  Our  duty,"  says  Father  Newman,  "  is  to  follow 
the  Vicar  of  Christ  whither  he  goeth,  and  never  to  desert  him, 
however  we  may  be  tried ;  but  to  defend  him  at  all  hazards  and 
against  all  comers,  as  a  son  would  a  father,  and  as  a  wife  a  hus- 
band, knowing  that  his  cause  is  the  cause  of  God." 


T.  SERAPHIA  was  born  at  Antioch,  of  Christian  parents, 
who,  flying  from  the  persecutions  of  Adrian,  went  to  Italy 
and  settled  there.    Her  parents  dying,  Seraphia  was  sought 
in  marriage  by  many,  but  having  resolved  to  consecrate  herself 

September  3.] 



to  God  alone,  she  sold  all  her  possessions  and  distributed  the  pro- 
ceeds to  the  poor  ;  finally  she  sold  herself  into  a  voluntary  slavery 
and  entered  the  service  of  a  Roman  lady,  named  Sabina.  The 
piety  of  Seraphia,  her  love  of  work,  and  her  charity  soon  gained 
the  heart  of  her  mistress,  who  was  not  long  in  becoming  a  Chris- 
tian. Having  been  denounced  as  a  follower  of  Christ,  Seraphia 
was  condemned  to  death.  She  was  at  first  placed  on  a  burning 
pile,  but  remained  uninjured  by  the  flames.  Almost  despairing  of 
being  able  to  inflict  death  upon  her,  the  prefect  Berillus  ordered 
her  to  be  beheaded,  and  she  thus  received  the  crown  which  she  so 

richly  merited.  Her  mistress  gathered  her  remains,  and  interred 
them  with  every  mark  of  respect.  Sabina,  meeting  with  a  mar- 
tyr's death,  a  year  after,  was  laid  in  the  same  tomb  with  her  faith- 
ful servant.  As  early  as  the  fifth  century,  there  was  a  church  at 
Rome  placed  under  their  invocation. 

Reflection. — Christian  courage  bears  relation  to  our  faith  : 
"  If  we  continue  in  the  faith,  grounded,  and  settled,  and  immova- 
ble," all  things  will  be  found  possible  to  us. 



T.  ROSALIA  was  daughter  of  a  noble  family  descended 
from  Charlemagne.  She  was  born  at  Palermo  in  Sicily, 
and  despising  in  her  youth  worldly  vanities,  made  herself 
an  abode  in  a  cave  on  Mount  Pelegrino,  three  miles  from  Pa- 
lermo, where  she  completed  the  sacrifice  of  her  heart  to  God  by 
austere  penance  and  manual  labor,  sanctified  by  assiduous  prayer 
and  the  constant  union  of  her  soul  with  God.  She  died  in  1160. 
Her  body  was  found  buried  in  a  grot  under  the  mountain,  in  the 
year  of  the  jubilee,  1625,  under  Pope  Urban  VIII.,  and  was  trans- 

lated into  the  metropolitical  church  of  Palermo,  of  which  she  was 
chosen  a  patroness.  To  her  patronage  that  island  ascribes  the 
ceasing  of  a  grievous  pestilence  at  the  same  time. 

St.  Rose  of  Viterbo,  who  is  honored  on  this  same  day,  was  born 
in  the  spring  of  1240,  a  time  when  Frederick  II.  was  oppressing 
the  Church  and  many  were  faithless  to  the  Holy  See.  The  infant 
at  once  seemed  filled  with  grace ;  with  tottering  steps  she  sought 
Jesus  in  His  tabernacle,  she  knelt  before  sacred  images,  she  lis- 
tened to  pious  talk,  retaining  all  she  heard,  and  this  when  she  was 
scarcely  three  years  old.  One  coarse  habit  covered  her  flesh ;  fasts 
and  disciplines  were  her  delight.  To  defend  the  Church's  rights 
was  her  burning  wish,  and  for  this  she  received  her  mission  from 

September  5.] 



the  Mother  of  God,  who  gave  her  the  Franciscan  habit,  with  the 
command  to  go  forth  and  preach.  When  hardly  ten  years  old, 
Rose  went  down  to  the  public  square  at  Viterbo,  called  upon  the 
inhabitants  to  be  faithful  to  the  Sovereign  Pontiff,  and  vehemently 
denounced  all  his  opponents.  So  great  was  the  power  of  her 
word,  and  of  the  miracles  which  accompanied  it,  that  the  Imperial 
party,  in  fear  and  anger,  drove  her  from  the  city,  but  she  con- 
tinued to  preach  till  Innocent  IV.  was  brought  back  in  triumph 
to  Rome  and  the  cause  of  God  was  won.  Then  she  retired  to  a 
little  cell  at  Viterbo,  and  prepared  in  solitude  for  her  end.  She 
died  in  her  eighteenth  year.  Not  long  after,  she  appeared  in  glory 
to  Alexander  IV.,  and  bade  him  translate  her  body.  He  found  it 
as  the  vision  had  said,  but  fragrant  and  beautiful,  as  if  still  in  life. 

Reflection. — Rose  lived  but  seventeen  years,  saved  the 
Church's  cause,  and  died  a  Saint.  We  have  lived,  perhaps,  much 
longer,  and  yet  with  what  result  ?  Every  minute  something  can 
be  done  for  God.    Let  us  be  up  and  doing. 


JT/J)AURENCE  from  a  child  longed  to  be  a  Saint ;  and  when 
Jl=i  ne  was  nineteen  years  of  age  there  was  granted  to  him  a 
vision  of  the  Eternal  Wisdom.  All  earthly  things  paled  in 
his  eyes  before  the  ineffable  beauty  of  this  sight,  and  as  it  faded 
away  a  void  was  left  in  his  heart  which  none  but  God  could  fill. 
Refusing  the  offer  of  a  brilliant  marriage,  he  fled  secretly  from 
his  home  at  Venice,  and  joined  the  Canons  Regular  of  St.  George. 
One  by  one  he  crushed  every  natural  instinct  which  could  bar  his 
union  with  his  Love.  When  Laurence  first  entered  religion,  a 
nobleman  went  to  dissuade  him  from  the  folly  of  thus  sacrificing 
every  earthly  prospect.  The  young  monk  listened  patiently  in 
turn  to  his  friend's  affectionate  appeal,  scorn,  and  violent  abuse. 
Calmly  and  kindly  he  then  replied.  He  pointed  out  the  short- 
ness of  life,  the  uncertainty  of  earthly  happiness,  and  the  incom- 
parable superiority  of  the  prize  he  sought  to  any  his  friend  had 
named.  The  nobleman  could  make  no  answer ;  he  felt  in  truth 
that  Laurence  was  wise,  himself  the  fool.  He  left  the  world,  be- 
came a  fellow-novice,  with  the  Saint,  and  his  holy  death  bore  every 
mark  that  he  too  had  secured  the  treasures  which  never  fail.  As 
superior  and  as  general,  Laurence  enlarged  and  strengthened  his 
Order,  and  as  bishop  of  his  diocese,  in  spite  of  slander  and  insult, 



[September  6. 

thoroughly  reformed  his  see.  His  zeal  led  to  his  being  appointed 
the  first  patriarch  of  Venice,  but  he  remained  ever  in  heart  and  soul 
an  humble  priest  thirsting  for  the  sight  of  heaven.  At  length  the 
eternal  vision  began  to  dawn.  "  Are  you  laying  a  bed  of  feathers 
forme?"  he  said.  "Not  so;  my  Lord  was  stretched  on  a  hard 
and  painful  tree."  Laid  upon  the  straw,  he  exclaimed  in  rapture, 
"Good  Jesus,  behold  I  come."  He  died  a.d.  1435,  aged  seventy- 

Reflection. — Ask  St.  Laurence  to  vouchsafe  you  such  a  sense 
of  the  sufficiency  of  God  that  you  too  may  fly  to  Him  and  be  at 


t WONDERFUL  simplicity  and  spirit  of  compunction  were 
the  distinguishing  virtues  of  this  holy  man.  He  was  cho- 
sen abbot  of  St.  Mark's  near  Spoleto,  and  favored  by  God 
with  the  gift  of  miracles.  A  child  who  was  possessed  by  the 
devil,  being  delivered  by  being  educated  in  his  monastery,  the 
abbot  said  one  day  :  "  Since  the  child  is  among  the  servants  of 
God,  the  devil  dares  not  approach  him."  These  words  seemed  to 
savor  of  vanity,  and  thereupon  the  devil  again  entered  and  tor- 
mented the  child.    The  abbot  humbly  confessed  his  fault,  and 

September  7.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  387 

fasted  and  prayed  with  his  whole  community  till  the  child  was 
again  freed  from  the  tyranny  of  the  fiend.  St.  Gregory  the  Great, 
not  being  able  to  fast  on  Easter-eve  on  account  of  extreme  weak- 
ness, engaged  this  Saint  to  go  with  him  to  the  church  of  St.  An- 
drew's and  put  up  his  prayers  to  God  for  his  health,  that  he  might 
join  the  faithful  in  that  solemn  practice  of  penance.  Eleutherius 
prayed  with  many  tears,  and  the  Pope,  coming  out  of  the  church, 
found  his  breast  suddenly  strengthened,  so  that  he  was  enabled  to 
perform  the  fast  as  he  desired.  St.  Eleutherius  raised  a  dead  man 
to  life.  Resigning  his  abbacy,  he  died  in  St.  Andrew's  monastery 
in  Rome,  about  the  year  585. 

Reflection. — "  Appear  not  to  men  to  fast,  but  to  thy  Father 
who  is  in  heaven,  and  thy  Father,  who  seeth  in  secret,  He  will 
repay  thee." 


T.  CLOUD  is  the  first  and  most  illustrious  Saint  among  the 
princes  of  the  royal  family  of  the  first  race  in  France.  He 
was  son  of  Chlodomir,  King  of  Orleans,  the  eldest  son  of 
St.  Clotilda,  and  was  born  522.  He  was  scarce  three  years  old 
when  his  father  was  killed  in  Burgundy ;  but  his  grandmother 
Clotilda  brought  up  him  and  his  two  brothers  at  Paris,  and 



[September  7. 

loved  them  extremely.  Their  ambitious  uncles  divided  the  king- 
dom of  Orleans  between  them,  and  stabbed  with  their  own  hands 
two  of  their  nephews.  Cloud,  by  a  special  providence,  was  saved 
from  the  massacre,  and,  renouncing  the  world,  devoted  himself  to 
the  service  of  God  in  a  monastic  state.  After  a  time  he  put 
himself  under  the  discipline  of  St.  Severinus,  a  holy  recluse  who 
lived  near  Paris,  from  whose  hands  he  received  the  monastic  habit. 
Wishing  to  live  unknown  to  the  world,  he  withdrew  secretly  into 
Provence,  but  his  hermitage  being  made  public,  he  returned  to 
Paris,  and  *was  received  with  the  greatest  joy  imaginable.    At  the 

earnest  request  of  the  people,  he  was  ordained  priest  by  Eusebius^ 
Bishop  of  Paris,  in  551,  and  served  that  Church  some  time  in  the 
functions  of  the  sacred  ministry.  He  afterward  retired  to  St. 
Cloud,  two  leagues  below  Paris,  where  he  built  a  monastery. 
Here  he  assembled  many  pious  men,  who  fled  out  of  the  world  for 
fear  of  losing  their  souls  in  it.  St.  Cloud  was  regarded  by  them 
as  their  superior,  and  he  animated  them  to  all  virtue  both  by  word 
and  example.  He  was  indefatigable  in  instructing  and  exhorting 
the  people  of  the  neighboring  country,  and  piously  ended  his 
days  about  the  year  560. 

Reflection. — Let  us  remember  that  "the  just  shall  live  for- 
evermore ;  they  shall  receive  a  kingdom  of  glory,  and  a  crown  of 
beauty  at  the  hand  of  the  Lord." 

September  8.] 




fHE  birth  of  the  Blessed  Virgin  Mary  announced  joy  and 
the  near  approach  of  salvation  to  the  lost  world.    Mary  was 
brought  forth  in  the  world  not  like  other  children  of  Adam, 
infected  with  the  loathsome  contagion  of  sin,  but  pure,  holy, 
beautiful,  and  glorious,  adorned  with  all  the  most  precious  graces 
which  became  her  who  was  chosen  to  be  the  Mother  of  God.  She 

appeared  indeed  in  the  weak  state  of  our  mortality ;  but  in  the 
eyes  of  Heaven  she  already  transcended  the  highest  seraph  in 
purity,  brightness,  and  the  richest  ornaments  of  grace.  If  we 
celebrate  the  birthdays  of  the  great  ones  of  this  earth,  how  ought 
we  to  rejoice  in  that  of  the  Virgin  Mary,  presenting  to  God  the 
best  homage  of  our  praises  and  thanksgiving  for  the  great  mercies 
He  has  shown  in  her,  and  imploring  her  mediation  with  her  Son 
in  our  behalf  !  Christ  will  not  reject  the  supplications  of  His 
mother,  whom  He  was  pleased  to  obey  whilst  on  earth.  Her  love, 
care,  and  tenderness  for  Him,  the  title  and  qualities  which  she 
bears,  the  charity  and  graces  with  which  she  is  adorned,  and  the 
crown  of  glory  with  which  she  is  honored,  must  incline  Him 
readily  to  receive  her  recommendations  and  petitions. 



[September  8- 


HIS  festival  was  appointed  by  Pope  Innocent  XL,  that  on  it 
the  faithful  may  be  called  upon  in  a  particular  manner  to 
recommend  to  God,  through  the  intercession  of  the  Blessed 
Virgin,  the  necessities  of  His  Church,  and  to  return  Him  thanks 
for  His  gracious  protection  and  numberless  mercies.  What  gave 
occasion  to  the  institution  of  this  feast  was  a  solemn  thanksgiving 
for  the  relief  of  Vienna  when  it  was  besieged  by  the  Turks  in 
1683.  If  we  desire  to  deprecate  the  divine  anger,  justly  provoked 
by  our  sins,  with  our  prayers,  we  must  join  the  tears  of  sincere 

compunction  with  a  perfect  conversion  of  our  manners.  The 
first  grace  we  should  always  beg  of  God  is  that  He  will  bring 
11s  to  the  disposition  of  condign  penance.  Our  supplications  for 
the  divine  mercies,  and  our  thanksgivings  for  benefits  received, 
will  only  thus  be  rendered  acceptable.  By  no  other  means  can  we 
deserve  the  blessing  of  God,  or  be  recommended  to  it  by  the 
patronage  of  His  holy  mother.  To  the  invocation  of  Jesus  it  is  a 
pious  and  wholesome  practice  to  join  our  application  to  the  Blessed 
Virgin,  that,  through  her  intercession,  we  may  more  easily  and 
more  abundantly  obtain  the  effects  of  our  petitions.  In  this  sense 
devout  souls  pronounce,  with  great  affection  and  confidence,  the 
holy  names  of  Jesus  and  Mary. 

September  9.] 




fT.  OMER  was  born  toward  the  close  of  the  sixth  century, 
in  the  territory  of  Constance.  His  parents,  who  were  noble 
and  wealthy,  gave  great  attention  to  his  education,  but,  above 
all,  strove  to  inspire  him  with  a  love  for  virtue.  Upon  the  death 
of  his  mother,  he  entered  the  monastery  of  Luxen,  whither  he  per- 
suaded his  father  to  follow  him,  after  having  sold  his  worldly 
goods  and  distributed  the  proceeds  among  the  poor.  The  father 
and  son  made  their  religious  profession  together.  The  humility, 
obedience,  mildness,  and  devotion,  together  with  the  admirable 
purity  of  manners,  which  shone  forth  in  every  action  of  St.  Omer, 

distinguished  him  among  his  saintly  brethren,  and  he  was  soon 
called  from  his  solitude  to  take  charge  of  the  government  of  the 
Church  in  Terouenne.  The  greater  part  of  those  living  in  his 
diocese  were  still  pagans,  and  even  the  few  Christians  were, 
through  a  scarcity  of  priests,  fallen  into  a  sad  corruption  of  man- 
ners. The  great  and  difficult  work  of  their  conversion  was  re- 
served for  St.  Omer.  The  holy  Bishop  applied  himself  to  his  task 
with  such  zeal  that  in  a  short  time  his  diocese  became  one  of 
the  most  nourishing  in  France.  In  his  old  age,  St.  Omer  became 
blind,  but  that  affliction  did  not  lessen  his  pastoral  concern  for  his 
flock.  He  died  in  the  odor  of  sanctity,  while  on  a  pastoral  visit 
to  Wavre,  in  670. 



ETER  CLAVER  was  a  Spanish  Jesuit.  In  Majorca  he  fell 
in  with  the  holy  lay-brother  Alphonsus  Rodriguez,  who, 
having  already  learned  by  revelation  the  saintly  career  of 
Peter,  became  his  spiritual  guide,  foretold  to  him  the  labors  he 
would  undergo  in  the  Indies,  and  the  throne  he  would  gain  in 
heaven.  Ordained  priest  in  New  Granada,  Peter  was  sent  to  Car- 
tagena, the  great  slave-mart  of  the  West  Indies,  and  there  he  con- 
secrated himself  by  vow  to  the  salvation  of  those  ignorant  and 
miserable  creatures.  For  more  than  forty  years  he  labored  in  this 
work.  He  called  himself  "  the  slave  of  the  slaves."  He  was  their 
apostle,  father,  physician,  and  friend.  He  fed  them,  nursed  them 
with  the  utmost  tenderness  in  their  loathsome  diseases,  often 
applying  his  own  lips  to  their  hideous  sores.  His  cloak,  which 
was  the  constant  covering  of  the  naked,  though  soiled  with  their 
filthy  ulcers,  sent  forth  a  miraculous  perfume.  His  rest  after  his 
great  labors  was  in  nights  of  penance  and  prayer.  However  tired 
he  might  be,  when  news  arrived  of  a  fresh  slave-ship,  Blessed 
Peter  immediately  revived,  his  eyes  brightened,  and  he  was  at  once 
on  board  amongst  his  dear  slaves,  bringing  them  comfort  for  body 
and  soul.  A  false  charge  of  reiterating  baptism  for  a  while  stopped 
his  work.  He  submitted  without  a  murmur  till  the  calumny 
was  refuted,  and  then  God  so  blessed  his  toil  that  40,000  negroes 
were  baptized  before  he  went  to  his  reward,  in  1654. 

Reflection. — When  you  see  any  one  standing  in  need  of  your 
assistance,  either  for  body  or  soul,  do  not  ask  yourself  why  some 
one  else  did  not  help  him,  but  think  to  yourself  that  you  have 
found  a  treasure. 


ORN  in  answer  to  the  prayer  of  a  holy  mother,  and  vowed 
before  his  birth  to  the  service  of  God,  Nicholas  never  lost 
his  baptismal  innocence.  His  austerities  were  conspicuous 
even  in  the  austere  Order — the  Hermits  of  St.  Augustine — to  which 
he  belonged,  and  to  the  remonstrances  which  were  made  by  his 
superiors,  he  only  replied,  "  How  can  I  be  said  to  fast,  while  every 
morning  at  the  altar  I  receive  my  God?"  He  conceived  an  ardent 
charity  for  the  Holy  Souls,  so  near  and  yet  so  far  from  their 
Saviour;  and  often  after  his  Mass,  it  was  revealed  to  him  that 

September  ii.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


the  souls  for  whom  he  had  offered  the  Holy  Sacrifice  had  been 
admitted  to  the  presence  of  God.  Amidst  his  loving  labors 
for  God  and  man,  he  was  haunted  by  fear  of  his  own  sinful- 
ness. "The  heavens,"  said  he,  "  are  not  pure  in  the  sight  of  Him 
whom  I  serve;  how  then  shall  I,  a  sinful  man,  stand  before  Him  ?" 

As  he  pondered  on  these  things,  Mary,  the  Queen  of  all  Saints, 
appeared  before  him.  "  Fear  not,  Nicholas,"  she  said,  "all  is  well 
with  you  :  my  Son  bears  you  in  His  Heart,  and  I  am  your  protec- 
tion." Then  his  soul  was  at  rest;  and  he  heard,  we  are  told,  the 
songs  which  the  angels  sing  in  the  presence  of  their  Lord.  He 
died  September  ioth,  1310. 

Reflection. — Would  you  die  the  death  of  the  just  ?  there  is 
only  one  way  to  secure  the  fulfilment  of  your  wish.  Live  the  life 
of  the  just.  For  it  is  impossible  that  one  who  has  been  faithful  to 
God  in  life  should  make  a  bad  or  an  unhappy  end. 


HE  holy  confessor  Paphnutius  was  an  Egyptian,  and  after 
having  spent  several  years  in  the  desert,  under  the  direction 
of  the  great  St.  Antony,  was  made  bishop  in  Upper  Thebais. 
He  was  one  of  those  confessors  who,  under  the  tyrant  Maximin 
Daia,  lost  their  right  eye,  and  were  afterward  sent  to  work  in  the 



[September  i  I. 

mines.  Peace  being  restored  to  the  Church,  Paphnutius  returned 
to  his  flock.  The  Arian  heresy  being  broached  in  Egypt,  he  was 
one  of  the  most  zealous  in  defending  the  Catholic  faith,  and  for 
his  eminent  sanctity  and  the  glorious  title  of  confessor  (or  one 
who  had  confessed  the  faith  before  the  persecutors  and  under  tor- 
ments) was  highly  considered  in  the  great  Council  of  Nice.  Con- 
stantine  the  Great,  during  the  celebration  of  that  synod,  sometimes 
conferred  privately  with  him  in  his  palace,  and  never  dismissed 
him  without  kissing  respectfully  the  place  which  had  once  held 
the  eye  he  had  lost  for  the  faith.     St.  Paphnutius  remained 

always  in  a  close  union  with  St.  Athanasius,  and  accompa- 
nied him  to  the  Council  of  Tyre,  in  335,  where  they  found 
much  the  greater  part  of  that  assembly  to  be  professed  Arians. 
Seeing  Maximus,  Bishop  of  Jerusalem,  among  them,  Paph- 
nutius took  him  by  the  hand,  led  him  out,  and  told  him  he 
could  not  see  that  any  who  bore  the  same  marks  as  he  in  defence 
of  the  faith  should  be  seduced  and  imposed  upon  by  persons  who 
were  resolved  to  oppress  the  most  strenuous  assertor  of  its  funda- 
mental article.  We  have  no  particular  account  of  the  death  of  St. 
Paphnutius ;  but  his  name  stands  in  the  Roman  Martyrology  on 
the  nth  of  September. 

Reflection. — If  to  fight  for  our  country  be  glorious,  "  it  is 
likewise  great  glory  to  follow  the  Lord,"  saith  the  Wise  Man. 

September  12.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 



S  a  child  Guy  had  two  loves,  the  Church  and  the  poor.  The 
love  of  prayer  growing  more  and  more,  he  left  his  poor  home 
at  Brussels  to  seek  greater  poverty  and  closer  union  with 
God.  He  arrived  at  Laeken,  near  Brussels,  and  there  showed 
such  devotion  before  our  Lady's  shrine  that  the  priest  besought 
him  to  stay  and  serve  the  Church.  Thenceforth,  his  great  joy 
was  to  be  always  in  the  church,  sweeping  the  floor  and  ceiling, 
polishing  the  altars,  and  cleansing  the  sacred  vessels.    By  day  he 

still  found  time  and  means  to  befriend  the  poor,  so  that  his  alms- 
giving became  famous  in  all  those  parts.  A  merchant  of  Brussels, 
hearing  of  the  generosity  of  this  poor  sacristan,  came  to  Laeken, 
and  offered  him  a  share  in  his  business.  Guy  could  not  bear  to 
leave  the  church ;  but  the  offer  seemed  providential,  and  he  at  last 
closed  with  it.  Their  ship,  however,  was  lost  on  the  first  voyage, 
and  on  returning  to  Laeken,  Guy  found  his  place  filled.  The  rest 
of  his  life  was  one  long  penance  for  his  inconstancy.  About  the 
year  1033,  finding  his  end  at  hand,  he  returned  to  Anderlecht,  in 
his  own  country.  As  he  died,  a  light  shone  round  him,  and  a 
voice  was  heard  proclaiming  his  eternal  reward. 

Reflection. — Jesus  was  only  nine  months  in  the  womb  of 
Mary,  three  hours  on  the  Cross,  three  days  in  the  sepulchre,  but 



[September  13. 

He  is  always  in  the  tabernacle.  Does  our  reverence  before  Him 
bear  witness  to  this  most  blessed  truth  ? 


T.  EULOGIUS  was  a  Syrian  by  birth,  and  while  young  em- 
braced the  monastic  state  in  that  country.    The  Eutychian 
heresy   had   thrown   the   Churches  of   Syria   and  Egypt 
into  much  confusion,  and  a  great  part  of  the  monks  of  Syria 
were  at  that  time  become  remarkable  for  their  loose  morals 

and  errors  against  faith.  Eulogius  learned  from  the  fall  of 
others  to  stand  more  watchfully  and  firmly  upon  his  guard,  and 
was  not  less  distinguished  by  the  innocence  and  sanctity  of  his 
manners  than  by  the  purity  of  his  doctrine.  Having,  by  an.  en- 
larged pursuit  of  learning,  attained  to  a  great  variety  of  useful 
knowledge  in  the  different  branches  of  literature,  he  set  himself  to 
the  study  of  divinity  in  the  sacred  sources  of  that  science,  which 
are  the  Holy  Scriptures,  the  tradition  of  the  Church  as  explained 
in  its  councils,  and  the  approved  writings  of  its  eminent  pastors. 
In  the  great  dangers  and  necessities  of  the  Church  he  was  drawn  out 
of  his  solitude,  and  made  priest  of  Antioch  by  the  patriarch  St.  An- 
astasius.   Upon  the  death  of  John,  the  Patriarch  of  Alexandria,  St. 

September  14.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


Eulogius  was  raised  to  that  patriarchal  dignity  toward  the  close 
of  the  year  583.  About  two  years  after  his  promotion,  our  Saint 
was  obliged  to  make  a  journey  to  Constantinople,  in  order  to  con- 
cert measures  concerning  certain  affairs  of  his  Church.  He  met  at 
court  St.  Gregory  the  Great,  and  contracted  with  him  a  holy 
friendship,  so  that,  from  that  time,  they  seemed  to  be  one  heart  and 
one  soul.  Among  the  letters  of  St.  Gregory,  we  have  several  ex- 
tant which  he  wrote  to  our  Saint.  St.  Eulogius  composed  many 
excellent  works  against  different  heresies,  and  died  in  the  year  606. 

Reflection. — We  admire  the  great  actions  and  the  glorious 
triumph  of  the  Saints ;  yet  it  is  not  so  much  in  these  that  their 
sanctity  consisted,  as  in  the  constant  habitual  heroic  disposition  of 
their  souls.  There  is  no  one  who  does  not  sometimes  do  good  ac- 
tions ;  but  he  can  never  be  called  virtuous  who  does  well  only  by 
humor,  or  by  fits  and  starts,  not  by  steady  habits. 


ONSTANTINE  was  still  wavering  between  Christianity  and 
idolatry  when  a  luminous  cross  appeared  to   him  in  the 
heavens,  bearing  the  inscription,  "  In  this  sign  shalt  thou 

conquer."  He  became  a  Christian,  and  triumphed  over  his  ene- 
mies, who  were,  at  the  same  time,  the  enemies  of  the  faith.  A 


LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.         [September  15. 

few  years  later,  his  saintly  mother  having  found  the  cross  on  which 
our  Saviour  suffered,  the  feast  of  the  "  Exaltation"  was  established 
in  the  Church  ;  but  it  was  only  at  a  later  period  still,  namely,  after 
the  Emperor  Heraclius  had  achieved  three  great  and  wondrous 
victories  over  Chosroes,  King  of  Persia,  who  had  possessed  him- 
self of  the  holy  and  precious  relic,  that  this  festival  took  a  more 
general  extension,  and  was  invested  with  a  higher  character  of 
solemnity.  The  feast  of  the  "  Finding"  was  thereupon  instituted, 
in  memory  of  the  discovery  made  by  St.  Helena ;  and  that  of  the 
"  Exaltation"  was  reserved  to  celebrate  the  triumphs  of  Heraclius. 
The  greatest  power  of  the  Catholic  world  was  at  that  time  centred 
in  the  Empire  of  the  East,  and  was  verging  toward  its  ruin,  when 
God  put  forth  his  hand  to  save  it :  the  re-establishment  of  the  Cross 
at  Jerusalem  was  the  sure  pledge  thereof.  This  great  event  oc- 
curred in  629. 

Reflection — Herein  is  found  the  accomplishment  of  the 
Saviour's  word : If  I  be  lifted  up  from  the  earth,  I  will  draw  all 
things  to  myself." 

OBLE  in  birth,  rich,  and  exceedingly  beautiful,  Catherine 

had  as  a  child  rejected  the  solicitations  of  the  world,  and 

begged  her  Divine  Master  for  some  share  in  His  sufferings. 
At  sixteen  years  of  age  she  found  herself  promised  in  marriage 
to  a  young  nobleman  of  dissolute  habits,  who  treated  her  with 
such  harshness  that,  after  five  years,  wearied  out  by  his  cruelty, 
she  somewhat  relaxed  the  strictness  of  her  life  and  entered  into 
the  worldly  society  of  Genoa.  At  length,  enlightened  by  divine 
grace  as  to  the  danger  of  her  state,  she  resolutely  broke  with  the 
world  and  gave  herself  up  to  a  life  of  rigorous  penance  and  prayer. 
The  charity  with  which  she  devoted  herself  to  the  service  of  the 
hospitals,  undertaking  the  vilest  of  offices  with  joy,  induced  her 
husband  to  amend  his  evil  ways  and  he  died  penitent.  Her 
heroic  fortitude  was  sustained  by  the  constant  thought  of  the  Holy 
Souls,  whose  sufferings  were  revealed  to  her,  and  whose  state  she 
has  described  in  a  treatise  full  of  heavenly  wisdom.  A  long  and 
grievous  malady  during  the  last  years  of  her  life  only  served  to 
perfect  her  union  with  God,  till,  worn  out  in  body  and  purified  in 
soul,  she  breathed  her  last  on  September  14th,  15 10. 


September  1 6.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


Reflection. — The  constant  thought  of  purgatory  will  help  us 
not  only  to  escape  its  dreadful  pains,  but  also  to  avoid  the  least 
imperfection  which  hinders  our  approach  to  God. 


YPRTAN  was  an  African  of  noble  birth  but  of  evil  life,  a 
pagan,  and  a  teacher  of  rhetoric.  In  middle  life  he  was  con- 
verted to  Christianity,  and  shortly  after  his  baptism  was  or- 
dained priest,  and  made  Bishop  of  Carthage,  notwithstanding  his 
resistance.  When  the  persecution  of  Decius  broke  out,  he  fled 
from  his  episcopal  city,  that  he  might  be  the  better  able  to  minister 
to  the  wants  of  his  flock,  but  returned  on  occasion  of  a  pestilence. 
Later  on  he  was  banished,  and  saw  in  a  vision  his  future  martyr- 
dom. Being  recalled  from  exile,  sentence  of  death  was  pronounced 
against  him,  which  he  received  with  the  words  "  Thanks  be  to 
God."  His  great  desire  was  to  die  whilst  in  the  act  of  preaching 
the  faith  of  Christ,  and  he  had  the  consolation  of  being  surrounded 
at  his  martyrdom  by  crowds  of  his  faithful  children.  He  was  be- 
headed on  the  14th  September,  a.d.  258,  and  was  buried  with  great 
solemnity.    Even  the  pagans  respected  his  memory. 

Reflection. — The  duty  of  alms-giving  is  declared  both  by 


LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.         [September  1 7. 

nature  and  revelation  :  by  nature,  because  it  flows  from  the  prin- 
ciple imprinted  within  us  of  doing  to  others  as  we  would  they 
should  do  to  us;  by  revelation,  in  many  special  commands  of 
Scripture,  and  in  the  precept  of  divine  charity  which  binds  us  to 
love  God  for  His  own  sake,  and  our  neighbor  for  the  sake  of  God. 


T.  LAMBERT  was  a  native  of  Maestricht.  His  father  en- 
trusted his  education  to  the  holy  Bishop  St.  Theodard,  and 
on  that  good  man  being  assassinated,  Lambert  was  chosen 
his  successor.  A  revolution  breaking  out  which  overturned  the 
kingdom  of  Austrasia,  our  Saint  was  banished  from  his  see  on  ac- 
count of  his  devotion  to  his  sovereign.  He  retired  to  the  monas- 
tery of  Stavelo,  and  there  obeyed  the  rule  as  strictly  as  the  young- 
est novice  could  have  done.  One  instance  will  suffice  to  show 
with  how  perfect  a  sacrifice  of  himself  he  devoted  his  heart  to 
serve  God.  As  he  was  rising  one  night  in  winter  to  his  private 
devotions,  he  happened  to  let  fall  his  wooden  sandal  or  slipper. 
The  abbot,  without  asking  who  had  caused  the  noise,  gave  orders 
that  the  offender  should  go  and  pray  before  the  cross,  which  stood 
before  the  church  door.  Lambert,  without  making  any  answer, 
went  out  as  he  was,  barefoot,  and  covered  only  with  his  hair  shirt; 

and  in  this  condition  he  prayed,  kneeling  before  the  cross,  where 
he  was  found  some  hours  after.  At  the  sight  of  the  holy  bishop 
the  abbot  and  the  monks  fell  on  the  ground  and  asked  his  par- 
don. "  God  forgive  you,"  said  he,  "  for  thinking  you  stand  in 
need  of  pardon  for  this  action.  As  for  myself,  is  it  not  in  cold 
and  nakedness  that,  according  to  St.  Paul,  I  am  to  tame  my  flesh 
and  to  serve  God  ?"  While  St.  Lambert  enjoyed  the  quiet  of  holy 
retirement,  he  wept  to  see  the  greatest  part  of  the  churches  of 
France  laid  waste.  In  the  mean  time  the  political  clouds  began 
to  break  away,  and  Lambert  was  restored  to  his  see,  but  his  zeal 
in  suppressing  the  many  and  notorious  disorders  which  existed  in 
his  diocese  led  to  his  assassination  on  the  17th  of  September,  709. 

Reflection. — How  noble  and  heroic  is  this  virtue  of  fortitude  ! 
how  necessary  for  every  Christian,  especially  for  a  pastor  of  souls, 
that  neither  worldly  views  nor  fears  may  ever  in  the  least  warp 
his  integrity  or  blind  his  judgment ! 


T.  THOMAS,  the  glory  of  the  Spanish  Church  in  the  six- 
teenth century,  was  born  a.d.  1488.    A  thirst  for  the  science 
of  the  Saints  led  him  to  enter  the  house  of  the  Austin  Friars 
at  Salamanca.    Charles  V.  listened  to  him  as  an  oracle,  and  ap- 



[September  19. 

pointed  him  Archbishop  of  Valencia.  On  being  led  to  his  throne 
in  church,  he  pushed  the  silken  cushions  aside,  and  with  tears 
kissed  the  ground.  His  first  visit  was  to  the  prison  ;  the  sum  with 
which  the  chapter  presented  him  for  his  palace  was  devoted  to  the 
public  hospital.  As  a  child  he  had  given  his  meal  to  the  poor,  and 
two  thirds  of  his  episcopal  revenues  were  now  annually  spent  in 
alms.  He  daily  fed  five  hundred  needy  persons,  brought  up  him- 
self the  orphans  of  the  city,  and  sheltered  the  neglected  foundlings 
with  a  mother's  care.  During  his  eleven  years'  episcopate  not 
one  poor  maiden  was  married  without  an  alms  from  the  Saint. 

Spurred  by  his  example,  the  rich  and  the  selfish  became  liberal  and 
generous;  and  when,  on  the  Nativity  of  our  Lady,  a.d.  1555,  St. 
Thomas  came  to  die,  he  was  well-nigh  the  only  poor  man  in 
his  see. 

Reflection. — "Answer  me,  O  sinner!"  St.  Thomas  would  say, 
"  what  can  you  purchase  with  your  money  better  or  more  neces- 
sary than  the  redemption  of  your  sins  ?" 


ANY  centuries  ago,  St.  Januarius  died  for  the  faith  in  the 
persecution  of  Diocletian,  and  to  this  day  God  confirms  the 
faith  of  His  Church,  and  works  a  continual  miracle,  through 
the  blood  which  Januarius  shed  for  Him.    The  Saint  was  Bishop 

September  19.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


of  Ben  even  turn,  and  on  one  occasion  he  travelled  to  Misenum  in 
order  to  visit  a  deacon  named  Sosius.  During  this  visit  Januarius 
saw  the  head  of  Sosius,  who  was  singing  the  Gospel  in  the  church, 
girt  with  flames,  and  took  this  for  a  sign  that  ere  long  Sosius 
would  wear  the  crown  of  martyrdom.  So  it  proved.  Shortly 
after  Sosius  was  arrested,  and  thrown  into  prison.  There  St.  Jan- 
uarius visited  and  encouraged  him,  till  the  bishop  also  was  ar- 
rested in  turn.  Soon  the  number  of  the  confessors  was  swollen 
by  some  of  the  neighboring  clergy.  They  were  exposed  to  the 
wild  beasts  in  the  amphitheatre.    The  beasts,  however,  did  them 

no  harm  ;  and  at  last  the  Governor  of  Campania  ordered  the  Saints 
to  be  beheaded.  Little  did  the  heathen  governor  think  that  he  was 
the  instrument  in  God's  hand  of  ushering  in  the  long  succession 
of  miracles  which  attest  the  faith  of  Januarius.  The  relics  of  St. 
Januarius  rest  in  the  cathedral  of  Naples,  and  it  is  there  that  the 
liquefaction  of  his  blood  occurs.  The  blood  is  congealed  in  two 
glass  vials,  but  when  it  is  brought  near  the  martyr's  head  it  melts 
and  flows  like  the  blood  of  a  living  man. 

Reflection. — Thank  God  who  has  given  you  superabundant 
motives  for  your  faith;  and  pray  for  the  spirit  of  the  first  Chris- 
tians, the  spirit  which  exults  and  rejoices  in  belief. 


LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.         [September  20. 



iffa?  USTACHIUS,  called  Placidus  before  his  conversion,  was  a 
distinguished  officer  of  the  Roman  army  under  the  Emperor 
Trajan.  One  day,  whilst  hunting  a  deer,  he  suddenly  per- 
ceived between  the  horns  of  the  animal  the  image  of  our  crucified 
Saviour.  Responsive  to  what  he  considered  a  voice  from  heaven, 
he  lost  not  a  moment  in  becoming  a  Christian.  In  a  short  time 
he  lost  all  his  possessions  and  his  position,  and  his  wife  and  chil- 
dren were  taken  from  him.  Reduced  to  the  most  abject  poverty^ 
he  took  service  with  a  rich  land-owner  to  tend  his  fields.  In  the 
mean  time  the  empire  suffered  greatly  from  the  ravages  of  barba* 
rians.    Trajan  sought  out  our  Saint,  and  placed  him  in  command 

of  the  troops  sent  against  the  enemy.  During  this  campaign  he 
found  his  wife  and  children,  whom  he  despaired  of  ever  seeing 
again.  Returning  home  victorious,  he  was  received  in  triumph 
and  loaded  with  honors  ;  but  the  emperor  having  commanded  him 
to  sacrifice  to  the  false  gods,  he  refused.  Infuriated  at  this,  Trajan 
ordered  Eustachius  with  his  wife  and  children  to  be  exposed  to 
two  starved  lions;  but  instead  of  harming  these  faithful  servants 
of  God,  the  beasts  merely  frisked  and  frolicked  about  them.  The 
emperor,  grown  more  furious  at  this,  caused  the  martyrs  to  be 

September  21.] 



shut  up  inside  a  brazen  bull,  under  which  a  fire  was  kindled,  and 
in  this  horrible  manner  they  were  roasted  to  death. 

Reflection. — It  is  not  enough  to  encounter  dangers  with 
resolution ;  we  must  with  equal  courage  and  constancy  vanquish 
pleasure  and  softer  passions,  or  we  possess  not  the  virtue  of  true 


NE  day,  as  our  Lord  was  walking  by  the  Sea  of  Galilee,  He 
saw,  sitting  at  the  receipt  of  custom,  Matthew  the  publican, 
whose  business  it  was  to  collect  the  taxes  from  the  people 
for  their  Roman  masters.    Jesus  said  to  him,  "  Follow  Me  ;"  and 

leaving  all,  Matthew  arose  and  followed  Him.  Now  the  publi- 
cans were  abhorred  by  the  Jews  as  enemies  of  their  country,  out- 
casts, and  notorious  sinners,  who  enriched  themselves  by  extor- 
tion and  fraud.  No  Pharisee  would  sit  with  one  at  table.  Our 
Saviour  alone  had  compassion  for  them.  So  St.  Matthew  made  a 
great  feast,  to  which  he  invited  Jesus  and  His  disciples,  with  a 
number  of  these  publicans,  who  henceforth  began  eagerly  to  listen 
to  Him.  It  was  then,  in  answer  to  the  murmurs  of  the  Pharisees, 
that  He  said,  "  They  that  are  in  health  need  not  the  physician.  I 



[September  22. 

have  not  come  to  call  the  just,  but  sinners  to  penance."  After  the 
Ascension,  St.  Matthew  remained  some  years  in  Judaea,  and  there 
wrote  his  Gospel,  to  teach  his  countrymen  that  Jesus  was  their 
true  Lord  and  King,  foretold  by  the  Prophets.  St.  Matthew  after- 
ward preached  the  faith  far  and  wide,  and  is  said  to  have  finished 
his  course  in  Parthia. 

Reflection. — Obey  all  inspirations  of  our  Lord  as  promptly 
as  St.  Matthew,  who,  at  a  single  word,  "  laid  down,"  says  St.  Brid- 
get, "  the  heavy  burden  of  the  world  to  put  on  the  light  and  sweet 
yoke  of  Christ." 


'mI^  H E  Theban  legion  numbered  more  than  six  thousand  men. 
'J^J^  They  marched  from  the  East  into  Gaul,  and  proved  their 
loyalty  at  once  to  their  Emperor  and  their  God.  They  were 
encamped  near  the  Lake  of  Geneva,  under  the  Emperor  Maxi- 
mian,  when  they  got  orders  to  turn  their  swords  against  the  Chris- 

tian population,  and  refused  to  obey.  In  his  fury,  Maximian  or- 
dered them  to  be  decimated.  The  order  was  executed  once  and 
again,  but  they  endured  this  without  a  murmur  or  an  effort  to  de- 
fend themselves.    St.  Maurice,  the  chief  captain  in  this  legion  of 

September  23.] 



martyrs,  encouraged  the  rest  to  persevere  and  follow  their  com- 
rades to  heaven.  "  Know,  O  Emperor,"  he  said,  "  that  we  are 
your  soldiers,  but  we  are  servants  also  of  the  true  God.  In  all 
things  lawful  we  will  most  readily  obey,  but  we  cannot  stain  our 
hands  in  this  innocent  blood.  We  have  seen  our  comrades  slain, 
and  we  rejoice  at  their  honor.  We  have  arms,  but  we  resist  not, 
for  we  had  rather  die  without  shame  than  live  by  sin."  As  the 
massacre  began,  these  generous  soldiers  flung  down  their  arms, 
offered  their  necks  to  the  sword,  and  suffered  themselves  to  be 
butchered  in  silence. 

Reflection. — Thank  God  for  every  slight  and  injury  you 
have  to  bear.  An  injury  borne  in  meekness  and  silence  is  a  true 
victory.  It  is  the  proof  that  we  are  good  soldiers  of  Jesus  Christ, 
disciples  of  that  heavenly  wisdom  which  is  first  pure,  then  peace- 


T.  THECLA  is  one  of  the  most  ancient,  as  she  is  one  of  the 
most  illustrious,  Saints  in  the  calendar  of  the  Church.  It 
was  at  Iconium  that  St.  Paul  met  St.  Thecla,  and  kindled  the 

love  of  virginity  in  her  heart.  She  had  been  promised  in  marriage 
to  a  young  man  who  was  rich  and  generous.   But  at  the  Apostle's 



words  she  died  to  the  thought  of  earthly  espousals ;  she  forgot  her 
beauty  ;  she  was  deaf  to  her  parents'  threats,  and  at  the  first  oppor- 
tunity she  fled  from  a  luxurious  home  and  followed  St.  Paul.  The 
rage  of  her  parents  and  of  her  intended  spouse  followed  hard  upon 
her ;  and  the  Roman  power  did  its  worst  against  the  virgin  whom 
Christ  had  chosen  for  His  own.  She  was  stripped  and  placed  in 
the  public  theatre  ;  but  her  innocence  shrouded  her  like  a  garment. 
Then  the  lions  were  let  loose  against  her ;  they  fell  crouching  at 
her  feet,  and  licked  them  as  if  in  veneration.  Even  fire  could  not 
harm  her.  Torment  after  torment  was  inflicted  upon  her  without 
effect,  till  at  last  her  Spouse  spoke  the  word  and  called  her  to 
Himself,  with  the  double  crown  of  virginity  and  martyrdom  on 
her  head. 

Reflection. — It  is  purity  in  soul  and  body  which  will  make 
you  strong  in  pain,  in  temptation,  and  in  the  hour  of  death.  Imi- 
tate the  purity  of  this  glorious  virgin,  and  take  her  for  your  spe- 
cial patroness  in  your  last  agony. 


T.  PETER,  of  the  noble  family  of  Nolasco,  was  born  in  Lan- 
jkS)  guedoc,  about  1189.  At  the  age  of  twenty-five  he  took  avow 
of  chastity,  and  made  over  his  vast  estates  to  the  Church. 
Some  time  after,  he  conceived  the  idea  of  establishing  an  order 
for  the  redemption  of  captives.  The  divine  will  was  soon  mani- 
fested. The  Blessed  Virgin  appeared  on  the  same  night  to  Peter, 
to  Raymund  of  Pennafort,  his  confessor,  and  to  James,  King  of 
Arragon,  his  ward,  and  bade  them  prosecute  without  fear  their 
holy  designs.  After  great  opposition,  the  Order  was  solemnly  es- 
tablished, and  approved  by  Gregory  IX.,  under  the  name  of  Our 
Lady  of  Mercy.  By  the  grace  of  God,  and  under  the  protection  of 
His  Virgin-Mother,  the  Order  spread  rapidly,  its  growth  being  in- 
creased by  the  charity  and  piety  of  its  members,  who  devoted  them- 
selves not  only  to  collecting  alms  for  the  ransom  of  the  Christians, 
but  even  gave  themselves  up  to  voluntary  slavery  to  aid  the  good 
work.  It  is  to  return  thanks  to  God  and  the  Blessed  Virgin  that 
a  feast  was  instituted  which  was  observed  in  the  Order  of  Mercy, 
then  in  Spain  and  France,  and  at  last  extended  to  the  whole 
Church  by  Innocent  XII.,  and  the  24th  September  named  as  the 
day  on  which  it  is  to  be  observed. 

September  25.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


Reflection. — St.  Peter  Nolasco  and  his  knights  were  laymen, 
not  priests,  and  yet  they  considered  the  salvation  of  their  neigh- 
bor intrusted  to  them.  We  can  each  of  us  by  counsel,  by  prayer, 
but  above  all  by  holy  example,  assist  the  salvation  of  our  breth- 
ren, and  thus  secure  our  own. 



-yX^T.  FIRMIN  was  a  native  of  Pampelone,  in  Navarre,  initiated 
Vo)  in  the  Christian  faith  by  Honestus,  a  disciple  of  St.  Satur- 
ninus  of  Toulouse,  and  consecrated  bishop  by  St.  Honora- 
tus,  successor  to  St.  Saturninus,  in  order  to  preach  the  Gospel  in 
the  remoter  parts  of  Gaul.  He  preached  the  faith  in  the  coun- 
tries of  Agen,  Anjou,  and  Beauvais,  and  being  arrived  at  Amiens, 
there  chose  his  residence,  and  founded  there  a  numerous  Church 
of  faithful  disciples.  He  received  the  crown  of  martyrdom  in 
that  city,  whether  under  the  prefect,  Rictius  Varus,  or  in  some 
other  persecution  from  Decius,  in  250,  to  Diocletian,  in  303,  is 

St.  Finbarr,  who  lived  in  the  sixth  century,  was  a  native  of 
Connaught,  and  instituted  a  monastery  or  school  at  Lough  Eire, 
to  which  such  numbers  of  disciples  flocked,  as  changed,  as  it  were, 


a  desert  into  a  large  city.  This  was  the  origin  of  the  city  of 
Cork,  which  was  built  chiefly  upon  stakes,  in  marshy  little 
islands  formed  by  the  river  Lea.  The  right  name  of  our 
Saint,  under  which  he  was  baptized,  was  Lochan  ;  the  surname 
Finbarr,  or  Barr  the  White,  was  afterward  given  him.  He 
was  Bishop  of  Cork  seventeen  years,  and  died  in  the  midst  of  his 
friends  at  Cloyne,  fifteen  miles  from  Cork.  His  body  was  buried 
in  his  own  cathedral  at  Cork,  and  his  relics,  some  years  after, 
were  put  in  a  silver  shrine,  and  kept  there,  this  great  church  bear- 
ing his  name  to  this  day.    St.  Finbarr's  cave  or  hermitage  was 

•shown  in  a  monastery  which  seems  to  have  been  begun  by  our 
Saint,  and  stood  to  the  west  of  Cork. 


HE  detestable  superstition  of  St.  Cyprian's  idolatrous  parents 
devoted  him  from  his  infancy  to  the  devil,  and  he  was 
brought  up  in  all  the  impious  mysteries  of  idolatry,  as- 
trology, and  the  black  art.  When  Cyprian  had  learned  all  the 
extravagances  of  these  schools  of  error  and  delusion,  he  hesitated 
at  no  crimes,  blasphemed  Christ,  and  committed  secret  murders. 
There  lived  at  Antioch  a  young  Christian  lady  called  Justina,  of 

September  26.] 



high  birth  and  great  beauty.  A  pagan  nobleman  fell  deeply  in 
love  with  her,  and  finding  her  modesty  inaccessible,  and  her  reso- 
lution invincible,  he  applied  to  Cyprian  for  assistance.  Cyprian, 
no  less  smitten  with  the  lady,  tried  every  secret  with  which 
he  was  acquainted  to  conquer  her  resolution.  Justina,  per- 
ceiving herself  vigorously  attacked,  studied  to  arm  herself  by 
prayer,  watchfulness,  and  mortification  against  all  his  artifices 
and  the  power  of  his  spells.  Cyprian  finding  himself  worsted  by 
a  superior  power,  began  to  consider  the  weakness  of  the  infernal 
spirits,  and  resolved  to  quit  their  service  and  become  a  Christian. 

Agladius,  who  had  been  the  first  suitor  to  the  holy  virgin,  was 
likewise  converted  and  baptized.  The  persecution  of  Diocletian 
breaking  out,  Cyprian  and  Justina  were  seized,  and  presented  to 
the  same  judge.  She  was  inhumanly  scourged,  and  Cyprian  was 
torn  with  iron  hooks.  After  this  they  were  both  sent  in  chains  to 
Diocletian,  who  commanded  their  heads  to  be  struck  off,  which 
sentence  was  executed. 

Reflection. — If  the  errors  and  disorders  of  St.  Cyprian  show 
the  degeneracy  of  human  nature  corrupted  by  sin,  and  enslaved  to 
vice,  his  conversion  displays  the  power  of  grace  and  virtue  to  re- 
pair it.  Let  us  beg  of  God  to  send  us  grace  to  resist  temptation, 
and  to  do  His  holy  will  in  all  things. 



[September  27. 


AINTS  Cosmas  and  Damian  were  brothers,  and  born  in 

Arabia,  but  studied  the  sciences  in  Syria,  and  became  emi- 

nent for  their  skill  in  physic.  Being  Christians,  and  full  of 
that  holy  temper  of  charity  in  which  the  spirit  of  our  divine  reli- 
gion consists,  they  practised  their  profession  with  great  applica- 
tion and  wonderful  success,  but  never  took  any  fee.  They  were 
loved  and  respected  by  the  people  on  account  of  the  good  offices 
received  from  their  charity,  and  for  their  zeal  for  the  Christian 
faith,  which  they  took  every  opportunity  to  propagate.  When 

the  persecution  of  Diocletian  began  to  rage,  it  was  impossible  for 
persons  of  so  distinguished  a  character  to  lie  concealed.  They 
were  therefore  apprehended  by  the  order  of  Lysias,  Governor  of 
Cilicia,  and  after  various  torments  were  bound  hand  and  foot  and 
thrown  into  the  sea. 

Reflection. — We  may  sanctify  our  labor  or  industry,  if  actu- 
ated by  the  motive  of  charity  toward  others,  even  whilst  we  fulfil 
the  obligation  we  owe  to  ourselves  and  our  families  of  procuring 
an  honest  and  necessary  subsistence,  which  ofitself  is  no  less  noble 
a  virtue,  if  founded  in  motives  equally  pure  and  perfect. 

September  28.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  413 

ENCESLAS  was  the  son  of  a  Christian  Duke  of  Bohemia, 
but  his  mother  was  a  hard  and  cruel  pagan.  Through 
the  care  of  his  holy  grandmother,  Ludmilla,  herself  a 
martyr,  Wenceslas  was  educated  in  the  true  faith,  and  imbibed  a 
special  devotion  to  the  Blessed  Sacrament.  On  the  death  of  his 
father,  his  mother,  Drahomira,  usurped  the  government  and  passed 
a  series  of  persecuting  laws.  In  the  interests  of  the  faith,  Wen- 
ceslas claimed  and  obtained,  through  the  support  of  the  people,  a 
large  portion  of  the  country  as  his  own  kingdom.    His  mother 

secured  the  apostasy  and  alliance  of  her  second  son,  Boleslas,  who 
became  henceforth  her  ally  against  the  Christians.  Wenceslas 
meanwhile  ruled  as  a  brave  and  pious  king,  provided  for  all  the 
needs  of  his  people,  and  when  his  kingdom  was  attacked,  over- 
came in  single  combat,  by  the  sign  of  the  Cross,  the  leader  of  an 
invading  army.  In  the  service  of  God  he  was  most  con- 
stant, and  planted  with  his  own  hands  the  wheat  and  grapes 
for  the  Holy  Mass,  at  which  he  never  failed  daily  to  assist.  His 
piety  was  the  occasion  of  his  death.  Once,  after  a  banquet  at  his 
brother's  palace,  to  which  he  had  been  treacherously  invited,  he 
went,  as  was  his  wont  at  night,  to  pray  before  the  tabernacle. 
There,  at  midnight  on  the  feast  of  the  Angels,  a.d.  938,  he  received 
liis  crown  of  martyrdom,  his  brother  dealing  him  the  death-blow. 


LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [September  29. 

Reflection. — St.  Wenceslas  teaches  us  that  the  safest  place  to 
meet  the  trials  of  life,  or  to  prepare  for  the  stroke  of  death,  is  be- 
fore Jesus  in  the  Blessed  Sacrament. 


I-CA-EL,"  or  "Who  is  like  to  God  ?"  Such  was  the  cry 
of  the  great  Archangel  when  he  smote  the  rebel  Lucifer 
in  the  conflict  of  the  heavenly  hosts,  and  from  that  hour 
he  has  been  known  as  "  Michael,"  the  captain  of  the  armies  of 
God,  the  type  of  divine  fortitude,  the  champion  of  every  faithful 
soul  in  strife  with  the  powers  of  evil.  Thus  he  appears  in  Holy 
Scripture  as  the  guardian  of  the  children  of  Israel,  their  comfort 
and  protector  in  times  of  sorrow  or  conflict.  He  it  is  who 
prepares  for  their  return  from  the  Persian  captivity,  who  leads 
the  valiant  Maccabees  to  victory,  and  who  rescues  the  body  of 
Moses  from  the  envious  grasp  of  the  Evil  One.  And  since  Christ's 
coming  the  Church  has  ever  venerated  St.  Michael  as  her  special 
patron  and  protector.   She  invokes  him  byname  in  her  confession 

of  sin,  summons  him  to  the  side  of  her  children  in  the  agony  of 
death,  and  chooses  him  as  their  escort  from  the  chastening  flames 
of  purgatory  to  the  realms  of  holy  light.  Lastly,  when  Antichrist 
shall  have  set  up  his  kingdom  on  earth,  it  is  Michael  who  will  un- 

September  30.]        LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


furl  once  more  the  standard  of  the  Cross,  sound  the  last  trump, 
and  binding  together  the  false  prophet  and  the  beast,  hurl  them  for 
all  eternity  into  the  burning  pool. 

Reflection. — "Whenever,"  says  Saint  Bernard,  "  any  grievous 
temptation  or  vehement  sorrow  oppresses  thee,  invoke  thy  guar- 
dian, thy  leader ;  cry  out  to  him,  and  say,  '  Lord,  save  us,  lest 
we  perish !'  " 


fT.  JEROME,  born  in  Dalmatia,  a.d.  329,  was  sent  to  school 
at  Rome.  His  boyhood  was  not  free  from  fault.  His  thirst 
for  knowledge  was  excessive,  and  his  love  of  books  a  passion. 
He  had  studied  under  the  best  masters,  visited  foreign  cities,  and 
devoted  himself  to  the  pursuit  of  science.  But  Christ  had  need 
of  his  strong  will  and  active  intellect  for  the  service  of  His  Church. 
St.  Jerome  felt  and  obeyed  the  call,  made  a  vow  of  celibacy,  fled 
from  Rome  to  the  wild  Syrian  desert,  and  there  for  four  years 

learnt  in  solitude,  penance,  and  prayer  a  new  lesson  of  divine 
wisdom.  This  was  his  novitiate.  The  Pope  soon  summoned  him 
to  Rome,  and  there  put  upon  the  now  famous  Hebrew  scholar  the 
task  of  revising  the  Latin  Bible,  which  was  to  be  his  noblest 



[October  i. 

work.  Retiring  thence  to  his  beloved  Bethlehem,  the  eloquent 
hermit  poured  forth  from  his  solitary  cell  for  thirty  years  a  stream 
of  luminous  writings  upon  the  Christian  world. 

Reflection. — "  To  know,"  says  St.  Basil,  "how  to  submit  thy- 
self with  thy  whole  soul,  is  to  know  how  to  imitate  Christ." 


Sir)  EMIGIUS,  or  Remi,  was  born  of  noble  and  pious  parents. 
At  the  age  of  twenty-two,  in  spite  of  the  canons  and  of  his 
own  reluctance,  he  was  acclaimed  Archbishop  of  Rheims. 
He  was  unusually  tall,  his  face  impressed  with  blended  majesty  and 
serenity,  his  bearing  gentle,  humble,  and  retiring.  He  was  learned 
and  eloquent,  and  had  the  gift  of  miracles.  His  pity  and  charity 
were  boundless,  and  in  toil  he  knew  no  weariness.  His  body  was 
the  outward  expression  of  a  noble  and  holy  soul,  breathing  the 
spirit  of  meekness  and  compunction.  For  so  choice  a  workman 
God  had  fitting  work;    The  South  of  France  was  in  the  hands  of 

Arians,  and  the  pagan  Franks  were  wresting  the  North  from  the 
Romans.  St.  Remigius  confronted  Clovis,  their  king,  and  con- 
verted and  baptized  him  at  Christmas,  a.d.  496.  With  him  he 
gained  the  whole  Frank  nation.    He  threw  down  the  idol  altars, 

October  2.] 



built  churches,  and  appointed  bishops.  He  withstood  and  silenced 
the  Arians,  and  converted  so  many  that  he  left  France  a  Catholic 
kingdom,  its  king  the  oldest  and  at  the  time  the  only  crowned  son 
of  the  Church.  He  died  a.d.  533,  after  an  episcopate  of  seventy- 
four  years,  the  longest  on  record. 

Reflection. — Few  men  have  had  such  natural  advantages  and 
such  gifts  of  grace  as  St.  Remi,  and  few  have  done  so  great  a 
work.  Learn  from  him  to  bear  the  world's  praise  as  well  as  its 
scorn  with  a  lowly  and  chastened  heart. 


ife^  OD  does  not  abandon  to  mere  chance  any  of  His  handi- 
*^yr  works ;  by  His  providence  He  is  everywhere  present ;  not 
a  hair  falls  from  the  head  or  a  sparrow  to  the  ground  with- 
out His  knowledge.  Not  content,  however,  with  yielding  such 
familiar  help  in  all  things,  not  content  with  affording  that  exist- 
ence which  He  communicates  and  perpetuates  through  every 
living  being,  He  has  charged  His  angels  with  the  ministry  of 

watching  and  safeguarding  every  one  of  His  creatures  that  behold 
not  His  face.  Kingdoms  have  their  angels  assigned  to  them,  and 
men  have  their  angels ;  these  latter  it  is  whom  religion  designates 
as  the  Holy  Guardian  Angels.    Our  Lord  says  in  the  Gospel, 



[October  3. 

"  Beware  lest  ye  scandalize  any  of  these  little  ones,  for  their  angels 
in  heaven  see  the  face  of  my  Father."  The  existence  of  Guardian 
Angels  is,  hence,  a  dogma  of  the  Christian  faith  :  this  being  so, 
what  ought  not  our  respect  be  for  that  sure  and  holy  intelligence 
that  is  ever  present  at  our  side ;  and  how  great  should  our  solici- 
tude be,  lest,  by  any  act  of  ours,  we  offend  those  eyes  which  are 
ever  bent  upon  us  in  all  our  ways ! 

Reflection. — Ah  !  let  us  not  give  occasion,  in  the  language 
of  Holy  Scripture,  to  the  angels  of  peace  to  weep  bitterly. 


■\§£}T.  GERARD  was  of  a  noble  family  of  the  county  of  Namur, 
w|S)  France.  An  engaging  sweetness  of  temper,  and  a  strong 
inclination  to  piety  and  devotion,  gained  him  from  the  cradle 
the  esteem  and  affection  of  every  one.  Having  been  sent  on  an 
important  mission  to  the  Court  of  France,  he  was  greatly  edified 
at  the  fervor  of  the  monks  of  St.  Denis,  at  Paris,  and  earnestly 

desired  to  consecrate  himself  to  God  with  them.  Returning  home 
he  settled  his  temporal  affairs,  and  went  back  with  great  joy  to  St. 
Denis's.  He  had  lived  ten  years  with  great  fervor  in  this  monas- 
tery, when  in  931  he  was  sent  by  his  abbot  to  found  an  abbey  upon 

October  4.] 



his  estate  at  Brogne,  three  leagues  from  Namur.  He  settled  this 
new  abbey,  and  then  built  himself  a  little  cell  near  the  church,  and 
lived  in  it  a  recluse  until  God  called  him  to  undertake  the  reform- 
ation of  many  monasteries,  which  he  did  successfully.  When  he 
had  spent  almost  twenty  years  in  these  zealous  labors,  he  shut 
himself  up  in  his  cell,  to  prepare  his  soul  to  receive  the  recompense 
of  his  labors  to  which  he  was  called  on  the  3d  of  October  in  959. 

Reflection. — Though  we  are  in  the  world,  let  us  strive  to 
separate  ourselves  from  it  and  consecrate  ourselves  to  God,  re- 
membering that  "  the  world  passeth  away,  but  he  that  doth  the 
will  of  God  abideth  forever." 


T.  FRANCIS,  the  son  of  a  merchant  of  Assisi,  was  born  in 
that  city  a.d.  1182.    Chosen  by  God  to  be  a  living  manifes- 
tation to  the  world  of  Christ's  poor  and  suffering  life  on 
earth,  he  was  early  inspired  with  a  high  esteem  and  burning  love 

of  poverty  and  humiliation.  The  thought  of  the  Man  of  Sorrows, 
who  had  not  where  to  lay  His  head,  filled  him  with  holy  envy  of 
the  poor,  and  constrained  him  to  renounce  the  wealth  and  worldly 
station  which  he  abhorred.    The  scorn  and  hard  usage  which  he 



[October  5. 

met  with  from  his  father  and  townsmen  when  he  appeared  among 
them  in  the  garb  of  poverty  were  delightful  to  him.  "  Now,"  he 
exclaimed,  "  I  can  say  truly,  '  Our  Father  who  art  in  heaven.'  " 
But  divine  love  burned  in  him  too  mightily  not  to  kindle  like  de- 
sires in  other  hearts.  Many  joined  themselves  to  him,  and  were 
constituted  by  Pope  Innocent  III.  into  a  religious  Order,  which 
spread  rapidly  throughout  Christendom.  St.  Francis,  after  visit- 
ing the  East  in  the  vain  quest  of  martyrdom,  spent  his  life  like  his 
Divine  Master — now  in  preaching  to  the  multitudes,  now  amid 
desert  solitudes  in  fasting  and  contemplation.  During  one  of 
these  retreats  he  received  on  his  hands,  feet,  and  side  the  print  of 
the  five  bleeding  wounds  of  Jesus.  With  the  cry,  "  Welcome,  sis- 
ter Death,"  he  passed  to  the  glory  of  his  God  October  4th,  1226. 

Reflection. — "My  God  and  my  all,"  St.  Francis's  constant 
prayer,  explains  both  his  poverty  and  his  wealth. 


T.  PLACID  was  born  in  Rome,  in  the  year  515,  of  a  patrician 
family,  and  at  seven  years  of  age  was  taken  by  his  father 
to  the  monastery  of  Subiaco.    At  thirteen  years  of  age  he 

followed  St.  Bernard  to  the  new  foundation  at  Monte  Cassino, 
where  he  grew  up  in  the  practice  of  a  wonderful  austerity  and  in- 

October  6.] 



nocence  of  life.  He  had  scarcely  completed  his  twenty-first  year 
when  he  was  selected  to  establish  a  monastery  in  Sicily  upon  some 
estates  which  had  been  given  by  his  father  to  St.  Benedict.  He 
spent  four  years  in  building  his  monastery,  and  the  fifth  had  not 
elapsed  before  an  inroad  of  barbarians  burned  every  thing  to  the 
ground,  and  put  to  a  lingering  death  not  only  St.  Placid  and  thirty 
monks  who  had  joined  him,  but  also  his  two  brothers,  Eutychius 
and  Victorinus,  and  his  holy  sister  Flavia,  who  had  come  to  visit 
him.  The  monastery  was  rebuilt,  and  still  stands  under  his  invo- 

Reflection. — Adversity  is  the  touchstone  of  the  soul,  because 
it  discovers  the  character  of  the  virtue  which  it  possesses.  One 
act  of  thanksgiving  when  matters  go  wrong  with  us  is  worth  a 
thousand  thanks  when  things  are  agreeable  to  our  inclinations. 


gRUNO  was  born  at  Cologne,  about  a.d.  1030,  of  an  illus- 
2)  trious  family.    He  was  endowed  with  rare  natural  gifts, 
which  he  cultivated  with  care  at  Paris.    He  became  canon 

of  Cologne,  and  then  of  Rheims,  where  he  had  the  direction  of 
theological  studies.    On  the  death  of  the  bishop  the  see  fell  for  a 



[October  7. 

time  into  evil  hands,  and  Bruno  retired  with  a  few  friends  into 
the  country.  There  he  resolved  to  forsake  the  world,  and  live  a 
life  of  retirement  and  penance.  With  six  companions  he  applied 
to  Hugh,  Bishop  of  Grenoble,  who  led  them  into  a  wild  solitude 
called  the  Chartreuse.  There  they  lived  in  poverty,  self-denial, 
and  silence,  each  apart  in  his  own  cell,  meeting  only  for  the  wor- 
ship of  God,  and  employing  themselves  in  copying  books.  From 
the  name  of  the  spot  the  Order  of  St.  Bruno  was  called  the  Car- 
thusian. Six  years  later,  Urban  II.  called  Bruno  to  Rome,  that  he 
might  avail  himself  of  his  guidance.  Bruno  tried  to  live  there  as 
he  had  lived  in  the  desert ;  but  the  echoes  of  the  great  city  dis- 
turbed his  solitude,  and,  after  refusing  high  dignities,  he  wrung 
from  the  Pope  permission  to  resume  his  monastic  life  in  Calabria. 
There  he  lived,  in  humility  and  mortification  and  great  peace, 
till  his  blessed  death  in  1101. 

Reflection. — "  O  everlasting  kingdom,"  said  St.  Augustine  ; 
"  kingdom  of  endless  ages,  whereon  rests  the  untroubled  light 
and  the  peace  of  God  which  passeth  all  understanding,  where  the 
souls  of  the  Saints  are  in  rest,  and  everlasting  joy  is  on  their 
heads,  and  sorrow  and  sighing  have  fled  away !  When  shall  I 
come  and  appear  before  God?" 


T.  MARK  was  by  birth  a  Roman,  and  served  God  with  such 
fervor  among  the  clergy  of  that  Church,  that,  advancing 
continually  in  sincere  humility  and  the  knowledge  and  sense 
of  his  own  weakness  and  imperfections,  he  strove  every  day  to 
surpass  himself  in  the  fervor  of  his  charity  and  zeal,  and  in  the 
exercise  of  all  virtues.  The  persecution  ceased  in  the  West,  in 
the  beginning  of  the  year  305  ;  but  was  revived  a  short  time  after 
by  Maxentius.  St.  Mark  abated  nothing  of  his  watchfulness,  but 
endeavored  rather  to  redouble  his  zeal  during  the  peace  of  the 
Church  ;  knowing  that  if  men  sometimes  cease  openly  to  persecute 
the  faithful,  the  devil  never  allows  them  any  truce,  and  his  snares 
are  generally  most  to  be  feared  in  the  time  of  the  calm.  St.  Mark 
succeeded  St.  Sylvester  in  the  apostolic  chair  on  the  18th  of 
January,  336.  He  held  that  dignity  only  eight  months  and  twenty 
days,  dying  on  the  7th  of  October  following.  He  was  buried  in  a 
cemetery  in  the  Ardeatine  Way,  which  has  since  borne  his  name. 

October  8.]  LIVES  OF  THE  saints. 

Reflection. — A  Christian  ought  to  be  afraid  of  no  enemy 
more  than  himself,  whom  he  carries  always  about  with  him,  and 
from  whom  he  is  not  able  to  flee.  He  should  therefore  never 
cease  to  cry  out  to  God,  "  Unless  thou,  O  Lord,  art  my  light  and 
support,  I  watch  in  vain." 


RIDGET  was  born  of  the  Swedish  royal  family,  a.d.  1304. 
In  obedience  to  her  father,  she  was  married  to  Prince  Ulpho 
of  Sweden,  and  became  the  mother  of  eight  children,  one  of 
whom,  Catherine,  is  honored  as  a  Saint.  After  some  years,  she 
and  her  husband  separated  by  mutual  consent.  He  entered  the 
Cistercian  Order,  and  Bridget  founded  the  Order  of  St.  Saviour, 
m  the  Abbey  of  Wastein,  in  Sweden.  In  1344  she  became  a 
widow,  and  thenceforth  received  a  series  of  the  most  sublime  reve- 
lations, all  of  which  she  scrupulously  submitted  to  the  judgment 
of  her  confessor.  By  the  command  of  our  Lord,  Bridget  went  on 
a  pilgrimage  to  the  Holy  Land,  and  amidst  the  very  scenes  of  the 
Passion  was  further  instructed  in  the  sacred  mysteries.  She  died 
a.d.  1373. 

Reflection. — "  Is  confession  a  matter  of  much  time  or  ex- 


pense?"  asks  St.  John  Chrysostom.  "  Is  it  a  difficult  and  painful 
remedy  ?  Without  cost  or  hurt,  the  medicine  is  ever  ready  to 
restore  you  to  perfect  health." 


F  all  the  Roman  missionaries  sent  into  Gaul,  St.  Dionysius 
carried  the  faith  the  furthest  into  the  country,  fixing  his  see 
at  Paris,  and  by  him  and  his  disciples  the  sees  of  Chartres, 
Senlis,  Meaux,  and  Cologne  were  erected  in  the  fourth  century. 
During  the  persecution  of  Valerian  he  was  arrested  and  thrown 
into  prison,  and  after  remaining  there  for  some  time  was  beheaded, 
together  with  St.  Rusticus,  a  priest,  and  Eleutherius,  a  deacon. 

St.  Louis  Bertrand  was  born  at  Valencia,  in  Spain,  a.d.  1526, 
of  the  same  family  as  St.  Vincent  Ferrer.  In  1545,  after  severe 
trials,  he  was  professed  in  the  Dominican  Order,  and  at  the  age  of 
twenty-five  was  made  master  of  novices,  and  trained  up  many  great 
servants  of  God.  When  the  plague  broke  out  in  Valencia  he  de- 
voted himself  to  the  sick  and  dying,  and  with  his  own  hands 
buried  the  dead.  In  1562  he  obtained  leave  to  embark  for  the 
American  mission,  and  there  converted  vast  multitudes  to  the 
faith.     He  was  favored  with  the  gift  of  miracles,  and  while 

preaching  in  his  native  Spanish,  was  understood  in  various  lan- 
guages. After  seven  years  he  returned  to  Spain,  to  plead  the 
cause  of  the  oppressed  Indians,  but  he  was  not  permitted  to  return 
and  labor  among  them.  He  spent  his  remaining  days  toiling  in 
his  own  country,  till  at  length,  in  1580,  he  was  carried  from  the 
pulpit  in  the  Cathedral  at  Valencia  to  the  bed  from  whence  he 
never  rose.  He  died  on  the  day  he  had  foretold — October  9th, 

Reflection. — The  Saints  fasted,  toiled,  and  wept,  not  only  for 
love  of  God,  but  for  fear  of  damnation.  How  shall  we,  with  our 
self-indulgent  lives  and  unexamined  consciences,  face  the  judg- 
ment-seat of  Christ? 


RANCIS  BORGIA,  Duke  of  Gandia  and  Captain-General 
of  Catalonia,  was  one  of  the  handsomest,  richest,  and  most 
honored  nobles  in  Spain,  when,  in  1539,  there  was  laid  upon 
him  the  sad  duty  of  escorting  the  remains  of  his  sovereign,  Queen 
Isabella,  to  the  royal  burying-place  at  Granada.  The  coffin  had 
to  be  opened  for  him  that  he  might  verify  the  body  before  it  was 
placed  in  the  tomb,  and  so  foul  a  sight  met  his  eyes  that  he  vowed 

426  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [October  II. 

never  again  to  serve  a  sovereign  who  could  suffer  so  base  a  change. 
It  was  some  years  before  he  could  follow  the  call  of  his  Lord  ;  at 
length  he  entered  the  Society  of  Jesus  to  cut  himself  off  from 
any  chance  of  dignity  or  preferment.  But  his  Order  chose  him 
to  be  its  head.  The  Turks  were  threatening  Christendom,  and 
St.  Pius  V.  sent  his  nephew  to  gather  Christian  princes  into  a 
league  for  its  defence.  The  holy  Pope  chose  Francis  to  accom- 
pany him,  and,  worn  out  though  he  was,  the  Saint  obeyed  at  once. 
The  fatigues  of  the  embassy  exhausted  what  little  life  was  left. 
St.  Francis  died  on  his  return  to  Rome,  October  ioth,  1572. 

Reflection. — St.  Francis  Borgia  learnt  the  worthlessness  of 
earthly  greatness  at  the  funeral  of  Queen  Isabella.  Do  the  deaths 
of  friends  teach  us  aught  about  ourselves  ? 


N  the  year  304,  Tarachus,  Probus,  and  Andronicus,  differing 
in  age  and  nationality,  but  united  in  the  bonds  of  faith,  being 
denounced  as  Christians  to  Numerian,  Governor  of  Cilicia, 
were  arrested  at  Pompeiopolis,  and  conducted  to  Tharsis.  They 
underwent  a  first  examination  in  that  town,  after  which  their  limbs 
were  torn  with  iron  hooks,  and  they  were  taken  back  to  prison 

October  12.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


covered  with  wounds.  Being  afterwards  led  to  Mopsuesta,  they 
were  submitted  to  a  second  examination,  ending  in  a  manner 
equally  cruel  as  the  first.  They  underwent  a  third  examination 
at  Anazarbis,  followed  by  greater  torments  still.  The  governor, 
unable  to  shake  their  constancy,  had  them  kept  imprisoned  that  he 
might  torture  them  further  at  the  approaching  games.  They  were 
borne  to  the  amphitheatre,  but  the  most  ferocious  animals,  on 
being  let  loose  on  them,  came  crouching  to  their  feet  and  licked 
their  wounds.  The  judge,  reproaching  the  jailers  with  conniv- 
ance, ordered  the  martyrs  to  be  despatched  by  the  gladiators. 

Reflection. — Such  is  true  Christian  devotion.  "  Neither  death 
nor  life  shall  be  able  to  separate  us  from  the  love  that  is  in  Christ 


QUICK  walker,  expert  at  all  good  works,  with  never  a 
sour  face" — such  was  the  great  St.  Wilfrid,  whose  glory 
it  was  to  secure  the  happy  links  which  bound  England 
to  Rome.  He  was  born  about  the  year  634,  and  was  trained  by  the 
Celtic  monks  at  Lindisfarne  in  the  peculiar  rites  and  usages  of  the 
British  Church.  Yet  even  as  a  boy  Wilfrid  longed  for  perfect  con- 
formity in  discipline,  as  in  doctrine,  with  the  Holy  See,  and  at 



[October  13. 

the  first  chance  set  off  himself  for  Rome.  On  his  return,  he 
founded  at  Ripon  a  strictly  Roman  monastery,  under  the  rule  of 
St.  Benedict.  In  the  year  664  he  was  elected  Bishop  of  Lindis- 
farne,  and  five  years  later  was  transferred  to  the  see  of  York.  He 
had  to  combat  the  passions  of  wicked  kings,  the  cowardice  of 
worldly  prelates,  the  errors  of  holy  men.  He  was  twice  exiled  and 
once  imprisoned  ;  yet  the  battle  which  he  fought  was  won.  He 
swept  away  the  abuses  of  many  years  and  a  too  national  system, 
and  substituted  instead  a  vigorous  Catholic  discipline,  modelled 
and  dependent  on  Rome.    He  died  October  12th,  709,  and  at  his 

death  was  heard  the  sweet  melody  of  the  angels  conducting  his 
soul  to  Christ. 

Reflection. — To  look  towards  Rome  is  an  instinct  planted  in 
us  for  the  preservation  of  the  faith.  Trust  in  the  Vicar  of  Christ 
necessarily  results  from  the  reign  of  His  love  in  our  hearts. 


DWARD  was  unexpectedly  raised  to  the  throne  of  England 
at  the  age  of  forty  years,  twenty-seven  of  which  he  had  passed 
in  exile.    On  the  throne,  the  virtues  of  his  earlier  years, 
simplicity,  gentleness,  lowliness,  but  above  all  his  angelic  purity, 

October  13.]  lives  OF  THE  saints. 


shone  with  new  brightness.  By  a  rare  inspiration  of  God,  though 
he  married  to  content  his  nobles  and  people,  he  preserved  perfect 
chastity  in  the  wedded  state.  So  little  did  he  set  his  heart  on 
riches,  that  thrice  when  he  saw  a  servant  robbing  his  treasury  he 
let  him  escape,  saying  the  poor  fellow  needed  the  gold  more  than 
he.  He  loved  to  stand  at  his  palace-gate,  speaking  kindly  to  the 
poor  beggars  and  lepers  who  crowded  about  him,  and  many  of 
whom  he  healed  of  their  diseases.  The  long  wars  had  brought 
the  kingdom  to  a  sad  state,  but  Edward's  zeal  and  sanctity  soon 
wrought  a  great  change.    His  reign  of  twenty-four  years  was  one 

of  almost  unbroken  peace,  the  country  grew  prosperous,  the 
ruined  churches  rose  under  his  hand,  the  weak  lived  secure,  and 
for  ages  afterwards  men  spoke  with  affection  of  the  "  laws  of  good 
St.  Edward."  The  holy  king  had  a  great  devotion  to  building 
and  enriching  churches.  Westminster  Abbey  was  his  latest  and 
noblest  work.    He  died  January  5th,  1066. 

Reflection. — David  longed  to  build  a  temple  for  God's  ser- 
vice. Solomon  reckoned  it  his  glory  to  accomplish  the  work. 
But  we,  who  have  God  made  flesh  dwelling  in  our  tabernacles, 
ought  to  think  no  time,  no  zeal,  no  treasures  too  much  to  devote 
to  the  splendor  and  beauty  of  a  Christian  church. 



[October  14. 


c>— >  < — y 

JT^ARLY  in  the  third  century,  Callistus,  then  a  deacon,  was  in- 
JiUVj  trusted  by  Pope  St.  Zephyrinus  with  the  rule  of  the  clergy, 
and  set  by  him  over  the  cemeteries  of  the  Christians  at 
Rome  ;  and,  at  the  death  of  Zephyrinus,  Callistus,  according  to  the 
Roman  usage,  succeeded  to  the  Apostolic  See.  A  decree  is  ascribed 
to  him  appointing  the  four  fasts  of  the  Ember  seasons,  but  his 
name  is  best  known  in  connection  with  the  old  cemetery  on  the 
Appian  Way,  which  was  enlarged  and  adorned  by  him,  and  is 
called  to  this  day  the  Catacomb  of  St.  Callistus.    During  the  per- 

secution under  the  Emperor  Severus,  St.  Callistus  was  driven  to 
take  shelter  in  the  poor  and  populous  quarters  of  the  city;  yet,  in 
spite  of  these  troubles,  and  of  the  care  of  the  Church,  he  made  dil- 
igent search  for  the  body  of  Calipodius,  one  of  his  clergy  who  had 
suffered  martyrdom  shortly  before,  by  being  cast  into  the  Tiber. 
When  he  had  found  it  he  was  full  of  joy,  and  buried  it,  with 
hymns  of  praise.    Callistus  was  martyred  October  14th,  223. 

Reflection. — -In  the  body  of  a  Christian  we  see  that  which  has 
been  the  temple  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  which  even  now  is  precious 
in  the  eyes  of  God,  who  will  watch  over  it,  and  one  day  raise  it 
up  in  glory  to  shine  forever  in  His  kingdom.  Let  our  actions 
bear  witness  to  our  belief  in  these  truths. 

October  15.] 




~^&hT  HEN  a  child  of  seven  years,  Teresa  ran  away  from  her 
home  at  Avila  in  Spain,  in  the  hope  of  being  martyred 
by  the  Moors.  Being  brought  back  and  asked  the  reason 
of  her  flight,  she  replied,  "  I  want  to  see  God,  and  I  must  die 
before  I  can  see  Him."  She  then  began  with  her  brother  to  build 
a  hermitage  in  the  garden,  and  was  often  heard  repeating  "  For- 
ever, forever."  Some  years  later  she  became  a  Carmelite  nun. 
Frivolous  conversations  checked  her  progress  towards  perfec- 
tion, but  at  last,  in  her  thirty-first  year,  she  gave  herself  wholly 

to  God.  A  vision  showed  her  the  very  place  in  hell  to  which  her 
own  light  faults  would  have  led  her ;  and  she  lived  ever  after  in 
the  deepest  distrust  of  self.  She  was  called  to  reform  her  Order, 
favored  with  distinct  commands  from  our  Lord,  and  her  heart  was 
pierced  with  divine  love  ;  but  she  dreaded  nothing  so  much  as 
delusion,  and  to  the  last  acted  only  under  obedience  to  her  con- 
fessors, which  both  made  h£r  strong  and  kept  her  safe.  She  died 
on  October  4th,  1582. 

Reflection. — "After  all  I  die  a  child  of  the  Church."  These 
were  the  Saint's  last  words.  They  teach  us  the  lesson  of  her  life 
— to  trust  in  humble,  childlike  obedience  to  our  spiritual  guides  as 
the  surest  means  of  salvation. 



[October  16. 


T.  GALL  was  born  in  Ireland  soon  after  the  middle  of  the 

sixth  century,  of  pious,  noble,  and  rich  parents.    When  St. 

Columban  left  Ireland,  St.  Gall  accompanied  him  into  Eng- 
land, and  afterward  into  France,  where  they  arrived  in  585.  St. 
Columban  founded  the  monastery  of  Anegray,  in  a  wild  forest  in 
the  diocese  of  Besancon,  and  two  years  afterward  another  in  Luxeu. 
Being  driven  thence  by  King  Theodoric,  the  Saints  both  withdrew 
into  the  territories  of  Theodebert.  St.  Columban,  however,  retired 
into  Italy,  but  St.  Gall  was  prevented  from  bearing  him  company 

by  a  grievous  fit  of  illness.  St.  Gall  was  a  priest  before  he  left 
Ireland,  and  having  learned  the  language  of  the  country  where 
he  settled,  near  the  Lake  of  Constance,  he  converted  to  the  faith 
a  great  number  of  idolaters.  The  cells  which  this  Saint  built 
there  for  those  who  desired  to  serve  God  with  him,  he  gave  to 
the  monastery  which  bears  his  name.  A  synod  of  bishops,  with 
the  clergy  and  people,  earnestly  desifed  to  place  the  Saint  in  the 
episcopal  see  of  Constance ;  but  his  modesty  refused  the  dignity. 
He  died  in  the  year  646. 

Reflection. — "  If  any  one  would  be  My  disciple,"  says  our 
Saviour,  "  let  him  deny  himself."  The  denial  of  self  is,  then,  the 
royal  road  to  perfection. 

October  17.] 





fT.  HEDWIGE,  the  wife  of  Henry,  Duke  of  Silesia,  and  the 
mother  of  his  six  children,  led  a  humble,  austere,  and  most 
holy  life  amidst  all  the  pomp  of  royal  state.  Devotion 
to  the  Blessed  Sacrament  was  the  key-note  of  her  life.  Her  val- 
ued privilege  was  to  supply  the  bread  and  wine  for  the  Sacred 
Mysteries,  and  she  would  attend  each  morning  as  many  Masses  as 
were  celebrated.  After  the  death  of  her  husband  she  retired  to  the 
Cistercian  convent  of  Trebnitz,  where  she  lived  under  obedience  to 

her  daughter  Gertrude,  who  was  abbess  of  the  monastery,  growing 
day  by  day  in  holiness,  till  God  called  her  to  Himself,  a.d.  1242. 

Margaret  Mary  was  born  at  Terreau  in  Burgundy,  on  the 
22d  July,  1647.  During  her  infancy  she  showed  a  wonderfully 
sensitive  horror  of  the  very  idea  of  sin.  In  167 1  she  entered  the 
Order  of  the  Visitation,  at  Paray-le-Monial,  and  was  professed  the 
following  year.  After  purifying  her  by  many  trials,  Jesus  appeared 
to  her  in  numerous  visions,  displaying  to  her  His  Sacred  Heart, 
sometimes  burning  as  a  furnace,  and  sometimes  torn  and  bleeding 
•on  account  of  the  coldness  and  sins  of  men.  In  1675  the  great 
revelation  was  made  to  her  that  she,  in  union  with  Father  de  la 
Colombiere,  of  the  Society  of  Jesus,  was  to  be  the  chief  instrument 
for  instituting  the  feast  of  the  Sacred  Heart,  and  for  spreading 



[October  18. 

that  devotion  throughout  the  world.  She  died  on  the  17th  Octo- 
ber, 1690. 

Reflection. — Love  for  the  Sacred  Heart  especially  honors  the 
Incarnation,  and  makes  the  soul  grow  rapidly  in  humility,  gen- 
erosity, patience,  and  union  with  its  Beloved. 


LUKE,  a  physician  at  Antioch,  and  a  painter,  became  a 
vS)  convert  of  St.  Paul,  and  afterwards  his  fellow-laborer.  He 
is  best  known  to  us  as  the  historian  of  the  New  Testament. 
Though  not  an  eye-witness  of  our  Lord's  life,  the  Evangelist  dili- 
gently gathered  information  from  the  lips  of  the  Apostles,  and 
wrote,  as  he  tells  us,  all  things  in  order.  The  Acts  of  the  Apostles 
were  written  by  this  Evangelist  as  a  sequel  to  his  Gospel,  bringing 
the  history  of  the  Church  down  to  the  first  imprisonment  of  St. 
Paul  at  Rome.  The  humble  historian  never  names  himself,  but  by 
his  occasional  use  of  "  we"  for  "  they"  we  are  able  to  detect  his 

presence  in  the  scenes  which  he  describes.  We  thus  find  that  he 
sailed  with  St.  Paul  and  Silas  from  Troas  to  Macedonia;  stayed 
behind  apparently  for  seven  years  at  Philippi,  and,  lastly,  shared 
the  shipwreck  and  perils  of  the  memorable  voyage  to  Rome. 
Here  his  own  narrative  ends,  but  from  St.  Paul's  Epistles  we  learn 

October  19.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  435 

that  St.  Luke  was  his  faithful  companion  to  the  end.  He  died  a 
martyr's  death  some  time  afterwards  in  Achaia. 

Reflection. — Christ  has  given  all  He  had  for  thee ;  do  thou 
give  all  thou  hast  for  Him. 


ETER,  while  still  a  youth,  left  his  home  at  Alcantara  in 
Spain,  and  entered  a  convent  of  Discalced  Franciscans.  He 
rose  quickly  to  high  posts  in  the  Order,  but  his  thirst  for 
penance  was  still  unappeased,  and  in  1539,  being  then  forty  years 
old,  he  founded  the  first  convent  of  the  "  Strict  Observance."  The 
cells  of  the  friars  resembled  graves  rather  than  dwelling-places. 
That  of  St.  Peter  himself  was  four  feet  and  a  half  in  length,  so 
that  he  could  never  lie  down  ;  he  ate  but  once  in  three  days;  his 
sackcloth  habit  and  a  cloak  were  his  only  garments,  and  he  never 
covered  his  head  or  feet.  In  the  bitter  winter  he  would  open  the 
door  and  window  of  his  cell  that,  by  closing  them  again,  he  might 

experience  some  sensation  of  warmth.  Amongst  those  whom  he 
trained  to  perfection  was  St.  Teresa.  He  read  her  soul,  approved 
of  her  spirit  of  prayer,  and  strengthened  her  to  carry  out  her  re- 
forms. St.  Peter  died,  with  great  joy,  kneeling  in  prayer,  October 
1 8th,  1562,  at  the  age  of  sixty-three. 



Reflection. — If  men  do  not  go  about  barefoot  now,  nor  under- 
go sharp  penances,  as  St.  Peter  did,  there  are  many  ways  of 
trampling  on  the  world ;  and  our  Lord  teaches  them  when  He 
finds  the  necessary  courage. 


T.  JOHN  was  born  at  Kenty  in  Poland,  a.d.  1403,  and  studied 
W=S)  at  Cracow  with  great  ability,  industry,  and  success,  while 
his  modesty  and  virtue  drew  all  hearts  to  him.  He  was,  for 
a  short  time,  in  charge  of  a  parish ;  but  he  shrank  from  the  burden 
of  responsibility,  and  returned  to  his  life  of  professor  at  Cracow. 
There,  for  many  years,  he  lived  a  life  of  unobtrusive  virtue,  self- 
denial,  and  charity.  His  love  for  the  Holy  See  led  him  often  in 
pilgrimage  to  Rome,  on  foot  and  alone,  and  his  devotion  to  the 
Passion  drew  him  once  to  Jerusalem,  where  he  hoped  to  win  a 
martyr's  crown  by  preaching  to  the  Turks.  He  died  a.d.  1473,  at 
the  age  of  seventy. 

Reflection. — He  who  orders  all  his  doings  according  to  the 
will  of  God,  may  often  be  spoken  of  by  the  world  as  simple  and 
stupid  ;  but,  in  the  end,  he  wins  the  esteem  and  confidence  of  the 
world  itself,  and  the  approval  and  peace  of  God. 

October  21.] 




NUMBER  of  Christian  families  had  intrusted  the  educa- 
tion of  their  children  to  the  care  of  the  pious  Ursula,  and 
some  persons  of  the  world  had  in  like  manner  placed  them- 
selves under  her  direction.  England  being  then  harassed  by  the 
Saxons,  Ursula  deemed  that  she  ought,  after  the  example  of  many 
of  her  compatriots,  to  seek  an  asylum  in  Gaul.  She  met  with  an 
abiding-place  on  the  borders  of  the  Rhine,  not  far  from  Cologne, 
where  she  hoped  to  find  undisturbed  repose  ;  but  a  horde  of  Huns 
having  invaded  the  country,  she  was  exposed,  together  with  all 
those  who  were  under  her  guardianship,  to  the  most  shameful 
outrages.  Without  wavering,  they  preferred  one  and  all  to  meet 
death  rather  than  incur  shame.  Ursula  herself  gave  the  example, 
and  was,  together  with  her  companions,  cruelly  massacred  in  the 
year  453.  The  name  of  St.  Ursula  has  from  remote  ages  been 
held  in  great  honor  throughout  the  Church ;  she  has  always  been 
regarded  as  the  patroness  of  young  persons  and  the  model  of 

Reflection— In  the  estimation  of  the  wise  man,  "the  guard- 
ing of  virtue"  is  the  most  important  part  of  the  education  of 



[October  23. 


JjjS  T.  MELLO  is  said  to  have  been  a  native  of  Great  Britain  ; 

his  zeal  for  the  faith  engaged  him  in  the  sacred  ministry,  and 

God  having  blessed  his  labors  with  wonderful  success,  he 
was  consecrated  first  bishop  of  Rouen  in  Normandy,  which  see 
he  is  said  to  have  held  forty  years.    He  died  in  peace,  about  the 

St.  Hilarion  was  born  of  heathen  parents,  near  Gaza,  and 
was  converted  while  studying  grammar  in  Alexandria.  Shortly 
after,  he  visited  St.  Antony,  and,  still  only  in  his  fifteenth  year, 
he  became  a  solitary  in  the  Arabian  desert.  A  multitude  of 
monks,  attracted  by  his  sanctity,  peopled  the  desert  where  he  lived. 
In  consequence  of  this,  he  fled  from  one  country  to  another,  seek- 
ing to  escape  the  praise  of  men  ;  but  everywhere  his  miracles 
of  mercy  betrayed  his  presence.  Even  his  last  retreat  at  Cyprus 
was  broken  by  a  paralytic,  who  was  cured  by  St.  Hilarion,  and 
then  spread  the  fame  of  the  Saint.  He  died  with  the  words,  "  Go 
forth,  my  soul ;  why  -dost  thou  doubt  ?  Nigh  seventy  years  hast 
thou  served  God,  and  dost  thou  fear  death  ?" 

BOUT  the  year  361,  Julian,  uncle  to  the  emperor  of  that 

name,  and  like  his  nephew  an  apostate,  was  made  Count  of 

the  East.  He  closed  the  Christian  churches  at  Antioch, 
and  when  St.  Theodoret  assembled  the  Christians  in  private,  he 
was  summoned  before  the  tribunal  of  the  count  and  most  in- 
humanly tortured.  His  arms  and  feet  were  fastened  by  ropes  to 
pulleys,  and  stretched  until  his  body  appeared  nearly  eight  feet 
long,  and  the  blood  streamed  from  his  sides.  "  O  most  wretched 
man,"  he  said  to  his  judge,  "  you  know  well  that  at  the  day  of 
judgment  the  crucified  God  whom  you  blaspheme  will  send  you 
and  the  tyrant  whom  you  serve  to  hell."  Julian  trembled  at  this 
awful  prophecy,  but  he  had  the  Saint  despatched  quickly  by  the 
sword,  and  in  a  little  while  the  judge  himself  was  arraigned  be- 
fore the  judgment-seat  of  God. 

beginning  of  the  fourth  century. 


Reflection. — Those  who  do  not  go  down  to  hell  in  spirit  are 
very  likely  to  go  there  in  reality.   Take  care  to  meditate  upon  the 

October  24.]  lives  OF  the  saints. 


four  last  things,  and  to  live  in  holy  fear.  You  will  learn  to  love 
God  better  by  thinking  how  He  punishes  those  who  do  not  love 


^&T.  MAGLOIRE  was  born  in  Brittany  towards  the  end  of  the 
vS)  fifth  century.  When  he  and  his  cousin  St.  Sampson  came 
of  an  age  to  choose  their  way  in  life,  Sampson  retired 
into  a  monastery,  and  Magloire  returned  home,  where  he  lived 
in  the  practice  of  virtue.  Amon,  Sampson's  father,  having  been 
cured  by  prayer  of  a  dangerous  disease,  left  the  world,  and  with 
his  entire  family  consecrated  himself  to  God.  Magloire  was  so 
affected  at  this  that,  with  his  father,  mother,  and  two  brothers, 
he  resolved  to  fly  the  world,  and  they  gave  all  their  goods  to  the 
poor  and  the  Church.  Magloire  and  his  father  attached  them- 
selves to  Sampson,  and  obtained  his  permission  to  take  the  mon- 
astic habit  in  the  house  over  which  he  presided.  When  Sampson 
was  consecrated  bishop,  Magloire  accompanied  him  in  his  apos- 
tolical labors  in  Armorica,  or  Brittany,  and  at  his  death  he  suc- 
ceeded him  in  the  Abbey  of  Dole,  and  in  the  episcopal  character. 
After  three  years  he  resigned  his  bishopric,  being  seventy  years 
old,  and  retired  into  a  desert  on  the  continent,  and  some  time  after 



[October  25. 

into  the  isle  of  Jersey,  where  he  founded  and  governed  a  monas- 
tery of  sixty  monks.    He  died  about  the  year  575. 

Reflection. — "  Be  mindful  of  them  that  have  rule  over  you, 
who  have  spoken  to  you  the  word  of  God,  whose  faith  follow,  con- 
sidering the  end." 


tHESE  two  glorious  martyrs  came  from  Rome  to  preach  the 
faith  in  Gaul  toward  the  middle  of  the  third  century.  Fix- 
ing their  residence  at  Soissons,  they  instructed  many  in  the 
faith  of  Christ  which  they  preached  publicly  in  the  day,  and  at 
night  they  worked  at  making  shoes,  though  they  are  said  to  have 
been  nobly  born,  and  brothers.  The  infidels  listened  to  their  in- 
structions, and  were  astonished  at  the  example  of  their  lives,  espe- 
cially of  their  charity,  disinterestedness,  heavenly  piety,  and  con- 
tempt of  glory  and  all  earthly  things  :  and  the  effect  was  the 
conversion  of  many  to  the  Christian  faith.  The  brothers  had  con- 
tinued their  employment  several  years  when  a  complaint  was 
lodged  against  them.  The  emperor,  to  gratify  their  accusers  and 
give  way  to  his  savage  cruelty,  gave  orders  that  they  should  be 
convened  before  Rictius  Varus,  the  most  implacable  enemy  of  the 

October  26.]  lives  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


Christians.  The  martyrs  were  patient  and  constant  under  the 
most  cruel  torments,  and  finished  their  course  by  the  sword  about 
the  year  287. 

Reflection. — Of  how  many  may  it  be  said  that  "  they  labor  in 
vain,"  since  God  is  not  the  end  and  purpose  that  inspires  the  la- 


T.  EVARISTUS  succeeded  St.  Anacletus  in  the  see  of  Rome, 
in  the  reign  of  Trajan,  governed  the  Church  nine  years,  and 
died  in  112.  The  institution  of  cardinal  priests  is  by  some 
ascribed  to  him,  because  he  first  divided  Rome  into  several  titles 
or  parishes,  assigning  a  priest  to  each  ;  he  also  appointed  seven 
deacons  to  attend  the  bishop.  He  conferred  holy  orders  thrice  in 
the  month  of  December,  when  that  ceremony  was  most  usually 
performed,  for  holy  orders  were  always  conferred  in  seasons  ap- 
pointed for  fasting  and  prayer.  St.  Evaristus  was  buried  near  St 
Peter's  tomb  on  the  Vatican. 

Reflection. — The  disciples  of  the  apostles,  by  assiduous  med- 
itation on  heavenly  things,  were  so  swallowed  up  in  the  life  to 
come,  that  they  seemed  no  longer  inhabitants  of  this  world.  If 

442  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  [October  27. 

Christians  esteem  and  set  their  hearts  on  earthly  goods,  and  lose 
sight  of  eternity  in  the  course  of  their  actions,  they  are  no  longer 
animated  by  the  spirit  of  the  primitive  Saints,  and  are  become  chil- 
dren of  this  world,  slaves  to  its  vanities,  and  to  their  own  irregular 
passions.  If  we  do  not  correct  this  disorder  of  our  hearts,  and 
conform  our  interior  to  the  spirit  of  Christ,  we  cannot  be  entitled 
to  his  promises. 


T.  FRUMENTIUS  was  yet  a  child  when  his  uncle,  Meropius 
of  Tyre,  took  him  and  his  brother  Edesius  on  a  voyage  to 
Ethiopia.  In  the  course  of  their  voyage  the  vessel  touched 
at  a  certain  port,  and  the  barbarians  of  that  country  put  the  crew 
and  all  the  passengers  to  the  sword,  except  the  two  children.  They 
were  carried  to  the  king,  at  Axuma,  who,  charmed  with  the  wit 
and  sprightliness  of  the  two  boys,  took  special  care  of  their  edu- 
cation ;  and,  not  long  after,  made  Edesius  his  cup-bearer,  and  Fru- 
mentius,  who  was  the  elder,  his  treasurer  and  secretary  of  state; 
on  his  death-bed,  he  thanked  them  for  their  services,  and,  in 
recompense,  gave  them  their  liberty.  After  his  death,  the  queen 
begged  them  to  remain  at  court,  and  assist  her  in  the  government 
of  the  state  until  the  young  king  came  of  age.    Edesius  went  back 

October  28.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  443 

to  Tyre,  but  St.  Athanasius  ordained  Frumentius  bishop  of  the 
Ethiopians,  and  vested  with  this  sacred  character,  he  gained  great 
numbers  to  the  faith,  and  continued  to  feed  and  defend  his  hock 
till  it  pleased  the  Supreme  Pastor  to  recompense  his  fidelity  and 

Reflection. — "  The  soul  that  journeys  in  the  light  and  the 
truths  of  the  faith  is  safe  against  all  error." 


IMON  was  a  simple  Galilean,  called  by  our  Lord  to  be  one 
of  the  pillars  of  His  Church.    Zelotes,  ''the  zealot,"  was  the 

surname  which  he  bore  among  the  disciples.  Armed  with 
this  zeal,  he  went  forth  to  the  combat  against  unbelief  and  sin,  and 
made  conquest  of  many  souls  for  his  Divine  Lord. 

The  Apostle  Jude,  whom  the  Church  commemorates  on  the 
same  day,  was  a  brother  of  St.  James  the  Less.  They  were  called 
'•brethren  of  the  Lord,"  on  account  of  their  relationship  to  His 
Blessed  Mother.  St.  Jude  preached  first  in  Mesopotamia,  as  St. 
Simon  did  in  Egypt ;  and  finally  they  both  met  in  Persia,  where 
they  won  their  crown  together. 



Reflection. — Zeal  is  an  ardent  love  which  makes  a  man  fear- 
less in  defence  of  God's  honor,  and  earnest  at  all  costs  to  make 
known  the  truth.  If  we  would  be  children  of  the  Saints,  we  must 
be  zealous  for  the  faith. 


T.  NARCISSUS  was  consecrated  bishop  of  Jerusalem  about 
the  year  180.  He  was  already  an  old  man,  and  God  attested 
his  merits  by  many  miracles,  which  were  long  held  in  mem- 
ory by  the  Christians  of  Jerusalem.  One  Holy  Saturday  in  the 
church  the  faithful  were  in  great  trouble,  because  no  oil  could  be 
found  for  the  lamps  which  were  used  in  the  Paschal  feast.  St. 
Narcissus  bade  them  draw  water  from  a  neighboring  well,  and, 
praying  over  it,  told  them  to  put  it  in  the  lamps.  It  was  changed 
into  oil,  and  long  after  some  of  this  oil  was  preserved  at  Jerusalem 
in  memory  of  the  miracle.  But  the  very  virtue  of  the  Saint  made 
him  enemies,  and  three  wretched  men  charged  him  with  an  atrocious 
crime.  They  confirmed  their  testimony  by  horrible  imprecations: 
the  first  prayed  that  he  might  perish  by  fire,  the  second  that  he 
might  be  wasted  by  leprosy,  the  third  that  he  might  be  struck  blind, 
if  they  charged  their  bishop  falsely.  The  holy  bishop  had  long 
desired  a  life  of  solitude,  and  he  withdrew  secretly  into  the  desert, 

October  30.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  445 

leaving  the  Church  in  peace.  But  God  spoke  for  His  servant,  and 
the  bishop's  accusers  suffered  the  penalties  they  had  invoked. 
Then  Narcissus  returned  to  Jerusalem  and  resumed  his  office. 
He  died  in  extreme  old  age,  bishop  to  the  last. 

Reflection. — God  never  fails  those  who  trust  in  Him;  He 
guides  them  through  darkness  and  through  trials  secretly  and 
surely  to  their  end,  and  in  the  evening  time  there  is  light. 


HE  birthday  of  the  Emperor  Maximian  Herculeus  in  the  year 
298  was  celebrated  with  extraordinary  feasting  and  solem- 
nity. Marcellus,  a  Christian  centurion  or  captain  in  the 
legion  of  Trajan,  then  posted  in  Spain,  not  to  defile  himself  with 
taking  part  in  those  impious  abominations,  left  his  company,  de- 
claring aloud  that  he  was  a  soldier  of  Jesus  Christ,  the  eternal 
king.  He  was  at  once  committed  to  prison.  When  the  festival 
was  over,  Marcellus  was  brought  before  a  judge,  and  having 
declared  his  faith,  was  sent  under  a  strong  guard  to  Aurelian 
Agricolaus,  vicar  to  the  prefect  of  the  praetorium,  who  passed 
sentence  of  death  upon  him.  St.  Marcellus  was  forthwith  led  to 
execution,  and  beheaded  on  the  30th  of  October.  Cassian,  the 
secretary  or  notary  of  the  court,  refused  to  write  the  sentence  pro- 



[October  31. 

nounced  against  the  martyr,  because  it  was  unjust.  He  was  im- 
mediately hurried  to  prison,  and  was  beheaded,  about  a  month 
after,  on  the  3d  of  December. 

Reflection. — "  We  are  ready  to  die  rather  than  to  transgress  the 
laws  of  God,"  exclaimed  one  of  the  Machabees.  This  sentiment 
should  ever  be  that  of  a  Christian  in  presence  of  temptation. 


^^^T.  QUINTIN  was  a  Roman,  descended  of  a  senatorial 
family.  Full  of  zeal  for  the  kingdom  of  Jesus  Christ,  he 
left  his  country,  and,  attended  by  St.  Lucian  of  Beauvais, 
made  his  way  to  Gaul.  They  preached  the  faith  together  in  that 
country  till  they  reached  Amiens  in  Picardy,  where  they  parted. 
Lucian  went  to  Beauvais,  and  having  sown  the  seeds  of  divine 
faith  in  the  hearts  of  many,  received  the  crown  of  martyrdom  in 
that  city.  St.  Quintin  stayed  at  Amiens,  endeavoring  by  his 
prayers  and  labors  to  make  that  country  a  portion  of  our  Lord's 
inheritance.  He  was  seized,  thrown  into  prison,  and  loaded  with 
chains.  Finding  the  holy  preacher  proof  against  promises  and 
threats,  the  magistrate  condemned  him  to  the  most  barbarous  tor- 
ture. His  body  was  then  pierced  with  two  iron  wires  from  the 
neck  to  the  thighs,  and  iron  nails  were  thrust  under  his  nails, 
and  in  his  flesh  in  many  places,  particularly  into  his  skull ;  and. 

November  i.] 






lastly,  his  head  was  cut  off.  His  death  happened  on  the  31st  of 
October,  287. 

Reflection. — Let  us  bear  in  mind  that  the  ills  of  this  life  are 
not  worthy  to  be  compared  to  the  glory  "  God  has  reserved  for 
those  who  love  Him." 


HE  Church  pays,  day  by  day,  a  special  veneration  to  some 
one  of  the  holy  men  and  women  who  have  helped  to  estab- 
lish it  by  their  blood,  develop  it  by  their  labors,  or  edify  it 
by  their  virtues.  But,  in  addition  to  those  whom  the  Church 
honors  by  special  designation,  or  has  inscribed  in  her  calendar, 
how  many  martyrs  are  there  whose  names  are  not  recorded  ?  How 
many  humble  virgins  and  holy  penitents  ?  How  many  just  and 
holy  anchorites  or  young  children  snatched  away  in  their  innocence  ? 
How  many  Christians  who  have  died  in  grace,  whose  merits  are 
known  only  to  God,  and  who  are  themselves  known  only  in  heaven  ? 
Now  should  we  forget  those  who  remember  us  in  their  interces- 
sions ?  Besides,  are  they  not  our  brethren,  our  ancestors,  friends, 
and  fellow-Christians,  with  whom  we  have  lived  in  daily  com- 
panionship— in  other  words,  our  own  family?  Yea,  it  is  one 
family  ;  and  our  place  is  marked  out  in  this  home  of  eternal  light 
and  eternal  love. 



Reflection. — Let  us  have  a  solicitude  to  render  ourselves 
worthy  of  "  that  chaste  generation,  so  beautiful  amid  the  glory 
where  it  dwells." 

*HE  Church  teaches  us  that  the  souls  of  the  just  who  have 
left  this  world  soiled  with  the  stain  of  venial  sin  remain 
for  a  time  in  a  place  of  expiation,  where  they  suffer  such 
punishment  as  may  be  due  to  their  offences  It  is  a  matter 
of  faith  that  these  suffering  souls  are  relieved  by  the  interces- 
sion of  the  Saints  in  heaven  and  by  the  prayers  of  the  faithful 

upon  earth.    To  pray  for  the  dead  is,  then,  both  an  act  of  charity 
and  of  piety.    We  read  in  Holy  Scripture  :  "  It  is  a  holy  and 
wholesome  thought  to  pray  for  the  dead,  that  they  may  be  loosed 
from  sins."     And  when  our  Lord  inspired  St.  Odilo,  Abbot  of 
Cluny,  towards  the  close  of  the  tenth  century,  to  establish  in  his 
Order  a  general  commemoration  of  all  the  faithful  departed,  it  was 
soon  adopted  by  the  whole  Western  Church,  and  has  been  continued 
unceasingly  to  our  day.    Let  us,  then,  ever  bear  in  mind  the  dead 
and  offer  up  our  prayers  for  them.    By  showing  this  mercy  to 
the  suffering  souls  in  purgatory,  we  shall  be  particularly  entitled 
to  be  treated  with  mercy  at  our  departure  from  this  world,  and  to 
share  more  abundantly  in  the  general  suffrages  of  the  Church, 
continually  offered  for  all  who  have  slept  in  Christ. 

November  2.] 





URING  his  childhood  Malachi  would  often  separate  himself 
from  his  companions  to  converse  in  prayer  with  God.  At 
the  age  of  twenty-five  he  was  ordained  priest ;  his  devotion 
and  zeal  led  to  his  being  consecrated  Bishop  of  Connor,  and  shortly 
afterwards  he  was  made  Archbishop  of  his  native  city  Armagh. 
This  see  having  by  a  long-standing  abuse  been  held  as  an  heirloom 
in  one  family,  it  required  on  the  part  of  the  Saint  no  little  tact  and 
firmness  to  allay  the  dissensions  caused  by  his  election.  One  day, 
while  St.  Malachi  was  burying  the  dead,  he  was  laughed  at  by  his 

sister.  When  she  died,  he  said  many  Masses  for  her.  Some  time 
afterwards,  in  a  vision,  he  saw  her,  dressed  in  mourning,  standing 
in  a  church-yard,  and  saying  that  she  had  not  tasted  food  for 
thirty  days.  Remembering  that  it  was  just  thirty  days  since  he  last 
offered  the  Adorable  Sacrifice  for  her,  he  began  again  to  do  so,  and 
was  rewarded  by  other  visions,  in  the  last  of  which  he  saw  her 
within  the  church,  clothed  in  white,  near  the  altar,  and  surrounded 
by  bright  spirits.  He  twice  made  a  pilgrimage  to  Rome  to  con- 
sult Christ's  Vicar,  the  first  time  returning  as  Papal  Legate,  amid 
the  joy  of  his  people,  with  the  pall  for  Armagh  ;  but  the  second 
time  bound  for  a  happier  home.  He  was  taken  ill  at  Clairvaux. 
He  died,  aged  fifty-four,  where  he  fain  would  have  lived,  in  St. 
Bernard's  monastery,  on  the  2d  of  November,  1148. 



[November  3. 

Reflection. — Our  Lord  said  to  St.  Gertrude,  "  God  accepts 
every  soul  you  set  free,  as  if  you  had  redeemed  him  from  cap- 
tivity, and  will  reward  you  in  a  fitting  time  for  the  benefit  you 
have  conferred." 


T.  HUBERT'S  early  life  is  so  obscured  by  popular  traditions 
that  we  have  no  authentic  account  of  his  actions.  He  is  said 
to  have  been  passionately  addicted  to  hunting,  and  was  en- 
tirely taken  up  in  worldly  pursuits.  One  thing  is  certain  :  that 
he  is  the  patron  saint  of  hunters.    Moved  by  divine  grace,  he 

resolved  to  renounce  the  world.  His  extraordinary  fervor,  and 
the  great  progress  which  he  made  in  virtue  and  learning,  strongly 
recommended  him  to  St.  Lambert,  Bishop  of  Maestricht,  who 
ordained  him  priest,  and  intrusted  him  with  the  principal  share  in 
the  administration  of  his  diocese.  That  holy  prelate  being  bar- 
barously murdered  in  681,  St.  Hubert  was  unanimously  chosen 
his  successor.  With  incredible  zeal  he  penetrated  into  the  most 
remote  and  barbarous  places  of  Ardenne,  and  abolished  the  wor- 
ship of  idols ;  and  as  he  performed  the  office  of  the  apostles,  God 
bestowed  on  him  a  like  gift  of  miracles.  He  died  on  the  30th 
of  May,  in  727,  reciting  to  his  last  breath  the  Creed  and  the 
Lord's  Prayer. 

November  4.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


Reflection. — What  the  Wise  Man  has  said  of  Wisdom  may  be 
applied  to  Grace :  "  That  it  ordereth  the  means  with  gentleness, 
and  attaineth  its  end  with  power." 


BOUT  fifty  years  after  the  Protestant  heresy  had  bioken 
out,  our  Lord  raised  up  a  mere  youth  to  renew  the 
face  of  His  Church.  In  1560  Charles  Borromeo,  then 
twenty-two  years  of  age,  was  created  cardinal,  and  by  the  side 
of  his  uncle,  Pius  IV.,  administered  the  affairs  of  the  Holy  See. 

His  first  care  was  the  direction  of  the  Council  of  Trent.  He 
urged  forward  its  sessions,  guided  its  deliberations  by  con- 
tinual correspondence  from  Rome,  and  by  his  firmness  carried  it 
to  its  conclusion.  Then  he  entered  upon  a  still  more  arduous 
work — the  execution  of  its  decrees.  As  Archbishop  of  Milan,  he 
enforced  their  observance,  and  thoroughly  restored  the  discipline 
of  his  see.  He  founded  schools  for  the  poor,  seminaries  for  the 
clerics,  and  by  his  community  of  Oblates  trained  his  priests  to 
perfection.  Inflexible  in  maintaining  discipline,  to  his  flock  he 
was  a  most  tender  father.  He  would  sit  by  the  road-side  to  teach 
a  poor  man  the  Pater  and  Ave,  and  would  enter  hovels  the  stench 
of  which  drove  his  attendants  from  the  door.  During  the  great 
plague,  he  refused  to  leave  Milan,  and  was  ever  by  the  sick  and 



[November  5. 

dying,  and  sold  even  his  bed  for  their  support.  So  he  lived,  and 
so  he  died,  a  faithful  image  of  the  Good  Shepherd,  up  to  his  last 
hour  giving  his  life  for  his  sheep. 

Reflection. — Daily  resolutions  to  fulfil,  at  all  cost,  every  duty 
demanded  by  God,  is  the  lesson  taught  by  St.  Charles ;  and  a  les- 
son we  must  learn  if  we  would  overcome  our  corrupt  nature  and 
reform  our  lives. 


fT.  BERTILLE  was  born  of  one  of  the  most  illustrious  fam- 
ilies in  the  territory  of  Soissons,  in  the  reign  of  Dagobert  I., 
As  she  grew  up,  she  learned  perfectly  to  despise  the  world, 
and  earnestly  desired  to  renounce  it.  Not  daring  to  tell  this  to 
her  parents,  she  first  consulted  St.  Ouen,  by  whom  she  was 
encouraged  in  her  resolution.  The  Saint's  parents  were  then 
made  acquainted  with  her  desire,  which  God  inclined  them  not 
to  oppose.  They  conducted  her  to  Jouarre,  a  great  monastery  in 
Brie,  four  leagues  from  Meaux,  where  she  was  received  with 

great  joy  and  trained  up  in  the  strictest  practice  of  monastic  per- 
fection. By  her  perfect  submission  to  all  her  sisters  she  seemed 
every  one's  servant,  and  acquitted  herself  with  such  great  charity 
and  edification  that  she  was  chosen  prioress  to  assist  the  abbess 

November  6.] 



in  her  administration.  About  the  year  646  she  was  appointed 
first  abbess  of  the  abbey  of  Chelles,  which  she  governed  for  forty- 
six  years  with  equal  vigor  and  discretion,  until  she  closed  her 
penitential  life  in  692. 

Reflection. — It  is  written  that  the  Saints  raise  themselves 
heavenward,  going  from  virtue  to  virtue,  as  by  steps. 


JT^EONARD,  one  of  the  chief  personages  of  the  court  of  Clovis, 
an(j  for  whom  this  monarch  had  stood  as  sponsor  in  bap- 
tism, was  so  moved  by  the  discourse  and  example  of  St. 
Remigius  that  he  relinquished  the  world  in  order  to  lead  a  more 
perfect  life.  The  Bishop  of  Reims  having  trained  Leonard  to 
virtue,  he  became  the  apostle  of  such  of  the  Franks  as  still  re- 
mained pagans ;  but  fearing  that  he  might  be  summoned  to  the 
court  by  his  reputation  for  sanctity,  he  withdrew  secretly  to  the 
monastery  of  Micy,  near  Orleans,  and  afterwards  to  the  solitude  of 
Noblac,  near  Limoges.    His  charity  not  allowing  him  to  remain 

inactive  while  there  was  so  much  good  to  be  done,  he  undertook 
the  work  of  comforting  prisoners,  making  them  understand  that 
the  captivity  of  sin,  was  more  terrible  than  any  mere  bodily  con- 
straint.   He  won  over  a  great  many  of  these  unfortunate  persons. 



which  gained  for  him  many  disciples,  in  whose  behalf  he  founded 
a  new  monastery.    St.  Leonard  died  about  the  year  550. 

Reflection. — "  The  wicked  shall  be  taken  with  his  own  iniqui- 
ties, and  shall  be  held  by  the  cords  of  his  own  sin." 


ILLIBRORD  was  born  in  Northumberland  a.d.  657,  and 
when  twenty  years  old,  went  to  Ireland,  to  study  under 
St.  Egbert ;  twelve  years  later,  he  felt  drawn  to  convert 
the  great  pagan  tribes  who  were  hanging  as  a  cloud  over  the 
north  of  Europe.  He  went  to  Rome  for  the  blessing  of  the  Pope, 
and  with  eleven  companions  reached  Utrecht.  The  pagans 
would  not  accept  the  religion  of  their  enemies  the  Franks;  and 
St.  Willibrord  could  only  labor  in  the  track  of  Pepin  Heristal, 
•converting  the  tribes  whom  Pepin  subjugated.  At  Pepin's 
urgent  request,  he  again  went  to  Rome,  and  was  consecrated 
Archbishop  of  Utrecht.  He  was  stately  and  comely  in  person, 
frank  and  joyous,  wise  in  counsel,  pleasant  in  speech,  in  every 
work  of  God  strenuous  and  unwearied.     Multitudes  were  con- 

verted, and  the  Saint  built  churches  and  appointed  priests  all  over 
the  land.  He  wrought  many  miracles,  and  had  the  gift  of  prophecy. 
He  labored  unceasingly  as  bishop  for  more  than  fifty  years,  beloved 
alike  of  God  and  of  man,  and  died  full  of  days  and  good  works. 

November  9.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


Reflection. — True  zeal  has  its  root  in  the  love  of  God.  It  can 
never  be  idle  ;  it  must  labor,  toil,  be  doing  great  things.  It  glows 
as  fire ;  it  is,  like  fire,  insatiable.    See  if  this  spirit  be  in  you. 


ROTESTANTISM  pretends  to  regard  the  veneration  which 
the- Church  pays  to  the  relics  of  the  Saints  as  a  sin,  and  con- 
tends that  this  pious  practice  is  a  remnant  of  paganism.  The 
Council  of  Trent,  on  the  contrary,  has  decided  that  the  bodies  of 
the  martyrs  and  other  saints  who  were  living  members  of  Jesus 
Christ  and  temples  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  are  to  be  honored  by  the 
faithful.  This  decision  was  based  upon  the  established  usage  of  the 
earliest  days  of  the  Church,  and  upon  the  teaching  of  the  Fathers 
and  of  the  Councils.  The  Council  orders,  however,  that  all  abuse 
of  this  devotion  is  to  be  avoided  carefully,  and  forbids  any  relics  to 
be  exposed  which  have  not  been  approved  by  the  bishops,  and  these 
prelates  are  recommended  to  instruct  the  people  faithfully  in  the 
teaching  of  the  Church  on  this  subject.  While  we  regret,  then,  the 
errors  of  the  impious  and  of  heretics,  let  us  profit  by  the  advan- 
tages which  we  gain  by  hearkening  to  the  voice  of  the  Church. 


T.  THEODORE  was  born  of  a  noble  family  in  the  East, 
and  enrolled  while  still  a  youth  in  the  imperial  army.  Early 
in  306  the  emperor  put  forth  an  edict  requiring  all  Christians 
to  offer  sacrifice,  and  Theodore  had  just  joined  the  legion  and 
marched  with  them  into  Pontus,  when  he  had  to  choose  between 
apostasy  and  death.  He  declared  before  his  commander  that  he 
was  ready  to  be  cut  in  pieces  and  offer  up  every  limb  to  his  Crea- 
tor who  had  died  for  him.  Wishing  to  conquer  him  by  gentleness, 
the  commander  left  him  in  peace  for  a  while,  that  he  might  think 
over  his  resolution  ;  but  Theodore  used  his  freedom  to  set  on  fire 
the  great  temple  of  Isis,  and  made  no  secret  of  this  act.  Still  his 
judge  entreated  him  to  renounce  his  faith  and  save  his  life ;  but 
Theodore  made  the  sign  of  the  cross,  and  answered  :  "As  long  as 
I  have  breath,  I  will  confess  the  name  of  Christ."  After  cruel 
torture,  the  judge  bade  him  think  of  the  shame  to  which  Christ 
had  brought  him.  "  This  shame,"  Theodore  answered,  "  I  and  all 
who  invoke  His  name  take  with  joy."  He  was  condemned  to  be 
burnt.  As  the  flame  rose,  a  Christian  saw  his  soul  rise  like  a 
flash  of  light  to  heaven. 


Reflection. — We  are  enlisted  in  the  same  service  as  the  holy 
martyrs,  and  we  too  must  have  courage  and  constancy  if  we  would 
be  perfect  soldiers  of  Jesus  Christ.  Let  us  take  our  part  with  them 
in  confessing  the  faith  of  Christ  and  despising  the  world,  that  we 
may  have  our  part  with  them  in  Christ's  kingdom. 


FTER  a  holy  youth,  Lancelot  Avellino  was  ordained  priest 
at  Naples.  At  the  age  of  thirty-six,  he  entered  the  Theatine 
Order,  and  took  the  name  of  Andrew,  to  show  his  love  for 
the  cross.  For  fifty  years  he  was  afflicted  with  a  most  painful  rup- 
ture ;  yet  he  would  never  use  a  carriage.  Once  when  he  was  carry- 
ing the  Viaticum,  and  a  storm  had  extinguished  the  lamps,  a 
heavenly  light  encircled  him,  guided  his  steps,  and  sheltered  him 
from  the  rain.  But  as  a  rule,  his  sufferings  were  unrelieved  by 
God  or  man.  On  the  last  day  of  his  life,  St.  Andrew  rose  to  say 
Mass.  He  was  in  his  eighty-ninth  year,  and  so  weak  that  he  could 
scarcely  reach  the  altar.  He  began  the  "  Judica,"  and  fell  forward 
in  a  fit  of  apoplexy.  Laid  on  a  straw  mattress,  his  whole  frame 
was  convulsed  in  agony,  while  the  fiend  in  visible  form  advanced  to 
seize  his  soul.  Then,  as  his  brethren  prayed  and  wept,  the  voice 
of  Mary  was  heard,  bidding  the  Saint's  guardian  angel  send  the 
tempter  back  to  hell.    A  calm  and  holy  smile  settled  on  the  fea- 

November  II.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


tures  of  the  dying  Saint,  as,  with  a  grateful  salutation  to  the  image 
of  Mary,  he  breathed  forth  his  soul  to  God.  His  death  happened 
on  the  ioth  of  November,  1608. 

Reflection. — St.  Andrew,  who  suffered  so  terrible  an  agony, 
is  the  special  patron  against  sudden  death.  Ask  him  to  be  with 
you  in  your  last  hour,  and  to  bring  Jesus  and  Mary  to  your  aid. 


HEN  a  mere  boy,  Martin  became  a  Christian  catechumen 
against  his  parents'  wish  ;  and  at  fifteen  was  therefore 
seized  by  his  father,  a  pagan  soldier,  and  enrolled  in  the 
army.  One  winter's  day,  when  stationed  at  Amiens,  he  met  a  beg- 
gar almost  naked  and  frozen  with  cold.  Having  no  money,  he 
cut  his  cloak  in  two  and  gave  him  the  half.  That  night  he  saw  our 
Lord  clothed  in  the  half  cloak,  and  heard  him  say  to  the  angels, 
"  Martin,  yet  a  catechumen,  hath  wrapped  me  in  this  garment." 
This  decided  him  to  be  baptized,  and  shortly  after  he  left  the  army. 
He  succeeded  in  converting  his  mother;  but  being  driven  from 
his  home  by  the  Arians,  he  took  shelter  with  St.  Hilary,  and 
founded  near  Poitiers  the  first  monastery  in  France.  In  372,  he 
was  made  Bishop  of  Tours.    His  flock,  though  Christian  in  name, 



[November  12. 

was  still  pagan  in  heart.  Unarmed^  and  attended  only  by  his 
monks,  Martin  destroyed  the  heathen  temples  and  groves,  and 
completed  by  his  preaching  and  miracles  the  conversion  of  the 
people,  whence  he  is  known  as  the  Apostle  of  Gaul.  His  last 
eleven  years  were  spent  in  humble  toil  to  atone  for  his  faults,  while 
God  made  manifest  by  miracles  the  purity  of  his  soul. 

Reflection — It  was  for  Christ  crucified  that  St.  Martin  worked. 
Are  you  working  for  the  same  Lord? 


MARTIN,  who  occupied  the  Roman  See  from  a.d.  649  to 
655,  incurred  the  enmity  of  the  Byzantine  court  by  his  ener- 
getic opposition  to  the  Monothelite  heresy,  and  the  Exarch 
Olympius  went  so  far  as  to  endeavor  to  procure  the  assassination 
of  the  Pope  as  he  stood  at  the  altar  in  the  church  of  St.  Mary 
Major;  but  the  would-be  murderer  was  miraculously  struck  blind, 
and  his  master  refused  to  have  any  further  hand  in  the  matter. 
His  successor  had  no  such  scruples ;  lie  seized  Martin,  and  conveyed 
him  on  board  a  vessel  bound  for  Constantinople.  After  a  three 
months' voyage,  the  island  of  Naxos  was  reached,  where  the  Pope 

November  13.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


was  kept  in  confinement  for  a  year,  and  finally,  in  654,  brought  in 
chains  to  the  imperial  city.  He  was  then  banished  to  the  Tauric 
Chersonese,  where  he  lingered  on  for  four  months  in  sickness  and 
starvation,  till  God  released  him  by  death  on  the  12th  of  Novem- 
ber, 655. 

Reflection. — There  have  been  times  in  the  history  of  Chris- 
tianity when  its  truths  have  seemed  on  the  vefrge  of  extinction. 
But  there  is  one  Church  whose  testimony  has  never  failed  :  it  is 
the  Church  of  St.  Peter,  the  Apostolic  and  Roman  See.  Put 
your  whole  trust  in  her  teaching. 


T.  STANISLAS  was  of  a  noble  Polish  family.  At  the  age  of 
fourteen  he  went  with  his  elder  brother  Paul  to  the  Jesuits' 
College  at  Vienna  ;  and  though  Stanislas  was  ever  bright  and 
sweet-tempered,  his  austerities  were  felt  as  a  reproach  by  Paul,  who 
shamefully  maltreated  him.  This  ill-usage  and  his  own  penances 
brought  on  a  dangerous  illness,  and  being  in  a  Lutheran  house 
he  was  unable  to  send  for  a  priest.  He  now  remembered  to  have 
read  of  his  patroness,  St.  Barbara,  that  she  never  permitted  her 
clients  to  die  without  the  Holy  Viaticum  :  he  devoutly  appealed  to 


LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.         [November  14. 

her  aid,  and  she  appeared  with  two  .angels,  who  gave  him  the 
Sacred  Host.  He  was  cured  of  this  illness  by  our  Lady  herself, 
and  was  bidden  by  her  to  enter  the  Society  of  Jesus.  To  avoid 
his  father's  opposition,  he  was  obliged  to  fly  from  Vienna;  and 
having  proved  his  constancy  by  cheerfully  performing  the  most 
menial  offices,  he  was  admitted  to  the  novitiate  at  Rome.  There 
he  lived  for  ten  short  months  marked  by  a  rare  piety,  obedience, 
and  devotion  to  his  institute.  He  died,  as  he  had  prayed  to  die, 
on  the  feast  of  the  Assumption,  1568,  at  the  age  of  seventeen. 

Reflection. — St.  Stanislas  teaches  us  in  every  trial  of  life,  and 
above  all  in  the  hour  of  death,  to  have  recourse  to  our  patron 
Saint,  and  to  trust  without  fear  to  his  aid. 


T.  DIDACUS  was  born  in  Spain,  in  the  middle  of  the 
fifteenth  century.  He  was  remarkable  from  childhood  for 
his  love  of  solitude,  and  when  a  youth  retired  and  led  a 
hermit  life,  occupying  himself  with  weaving  mats,  like  the  fathers 
of  the  desert.  Aiming  at  still  higher  perfection,  he  entered  the 
Order  of  St.  Francis.  His  want  of  learning  and  his  humility 
would  not  allow  him  to  aspire  to  the  priesthood,  and  he  remained 

November  14.]  LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  461 

a  lay-brother  till  his  death,  perfect  in  his  close  observance  of  the 
vows  of  poverty,  chastity,  and  obedience,  and  mortifying  his  will 
and  his  senses  in  every  way  that  he  could  contrive.  At  one  time 
he  was  sent  by  his  superiors  to  the  Canary  Islands,  whither  he 
went  joyfully,  hoping  to  win  the  crown  of  martyrdom.  Such, 
however,  was  not  God's  will,  and  after  making  many  conversions 
by  his  example  and  holy  words,  he  was  recalled  to  Spain.  There, 
after  a  long  and  painful  illness,  he  finished  his  days,  embracing 
the  cross  which  he  had  so  dearly  loved  through  his  life.  He  died 
with  the  words  of  the  hymn  "  Dulce  lignum"  on  his  lips. 

Reflection. — If  God  be  in  your  heart,  He  will  be  also  on 
your  lips  ;  for  Christ  has  said,  "  From  the  abundance  of  the  heart 
the  mouth  speaketh." 


T.  LAURENCE,  it  appears,  was  born  about  the  year  11 25. 
When  only  ten  years  old,  his  father  delivered  him  up  as  a 
hostage  to  Dermod  Mac  Murchad,  King  of  Leinster,  who 
treated  the  child  with  great  inhumanity,  until  his  father  obliged 
the  tyrant  to  put  him  in  the  hands  of  the  Bishop  of  Glendalough, 
in  the  county  of  Wicklow.    The  holy  youth,  by  his  fidelity  in  cor- 



responding  with  the  divine  grace,  grew  to  be  a  model  of  virtues. 
On  the  death  of  the  bishop,  who  was  also  abbot  of  the  monastery, 
St.  Laurence  was  chosen  abbot  in  1150,  though  but  twenty-five 
years  old,  and  governed  his  numerous  community  with  wonderful 
virtue  and  prudence.  In  1161,  St.  Laurence  was  unanimously 
chosen  to  fill  the  new  metropolitan  See  of  Dublin.  About  the 
year  1171,  he  was  obliged,  for  the  affairs  of  his  diocese,  to  go 
over  to  England  to  see  the  king,  Henry  II.,  who  was  then  at 
Canterbury.  The  Saint  was  received  by  the  Benedictine  monks 
of  Christ  Church  with  the  greatest  honor  and  respect.    On  the 

following  day,  as  the  holy  archbishop  was  advancing  to  the 
altar  to  officiate,  a  maniac,  who  had  heard  much  of  his  sanctity, 
and  who  was  led  on  by  the  idea  of  making  so  holy  a  man  an- 
other St.  Thomas,  struck  him  a  violent  blow  on  the  head. 
All  present  concluded  that  he  was  mortally  wounded ;  but  the 
Saint  coming  to  himself,  asked  for  some  water,  blessed  it,  and 
having  his  wound  washed  with  it,  the  blood  was  immediately 
stanched,  and  the  archbishop  celebrated  Mass.  In  1175,  Henry 
II.  of  England  became  offended  with  Roderic,  the  monarch 
of  Ireland,  and  St.  Laurence  undertook  another  journey  to 
England  to  negotiate  a  reconciliation  between  them.  Henry 
was  so  moved  by  his  piety,  charity,  and  prudence,  that  he  granted 
him  every  thing  he  asked,  and  left  the  whole  negotiation  to  his 

November  15.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


discretion.  Our  Saint  ended  his  journey  here  below  on  the  14th 
of  November,  1180,  and  was  buried  in  the  church  of  the  abbey 
at  Eu,  on  the  confines  of  Normandy. 


ERTRUD'E  was  born  in  the  year  1263,  of  a  noble  Saxon 
family,  and  placed  at  the  age  of  five  for  education  in  the 
Benedictine  abbey  of  Rodelsdorf.  Her  strong  mind  was 
carefully  cultivated,  and  she  wrote  Latin  with  unusual  elegance 
and  force;  above  all,  she  was  perfect  in  humility  and  mortifi- 

cation, in  obedience,  and  in  all  monastic  observance.  Her  life 
was  crowded  with  wonders.  She  has  in  obedience  recorded  some  of 
her  visions,  in  which  she  traces  in  words  of  indescribable  beauty 
the  intimate  converse  of  her  soul  with  Jesus  and  Mary.  She  was 
gentle  to  all,  most  gentle  to  sinners ;  filled  with  devotion  to  the 
Saints  of  God,  to  the  souls  in  purgatory,  and  above  all  to  the 
Passion  of  our  Lord  and  to  His  sacred  Heart.  She  ruled  her 
abbey  with  perfect  wisdom  and  love  for  forty  years.  Her  life  was 
one  of  great  and  almost  continual  suffering,  and  her  longing  to  be 
with  Jesus  was  not  granted  till  a.d.  1334,  when  she  had  reached 
her  seventy-second  year. 

Reflection. — No  preparation  for  death  can  be  better  than  to 



[November  16. 

offer  and  resign  ourselves  anew  to  the  Divine  Will — humbly,  lov- 
ingly, with  unbounded  confidence  in  the  infinite  mercy  and  good- 
ness of  God. 


fT.  EDMUND  left  his  home  at  Abingdon,  a  boy  of  twelve 
years  old,  to  study  at  Oxford,  and  there  protected  himself 
against  many  grievous  temptations  by  a  vow  of  chastity, 
and  by  espousing  himself  to  Mary  for  life.    He  was  soon  called 
to  active  public  life,  and  as  treasurer  of  the  diocese  of  Salisbury 

showed  such  charity  to  the  poor  that  the  dean  said  he  was  rather 
the  treasure  than  the  treasurer  of  their  church.  In  1234  he  was 
raised  to  the  see  of  Canterbury,  where  he  fearlessly  defended  the 
rights  of  Church  and  State  against  the  avarice*  and  greed  of 
Henry  III. ;  but  finding  himself  unable  to  force  that  monarch  to 
relinquish  the  livings  which  he  kept  vacant  for  the  benefit  of  the 
royal  coffers,  Edmund  retired  into  exile  sooner  than  appear  to 
connive  at  so  foul  a  wrong.  After  two  years  spent  in  solitude 
and  prayer,  he  went  to  his  reward,  and  the  miracles  wrought  at 
his  tomb  at  Pontigny  were  so  numerous  that  he  was  canonized  in 
1246,  within  four  years  of  his  death. 

November  17.] 



Reflection. — The  Saints  were  tempted  even  more  than  our- 
selves ;  but  they  stood  where  we  fall,  because  they  trusted  to  Mary, 
and  not  to  themselves. 



>§^T.  GREGORY  was  born  in  Pontus,  of  heathen  parents.  In 
Palestine,  about  the  year  231,  he  studied  philosophy  under 
the  great  Origen,  who  led  him  from  the  pursuit  of  human 
wisdom  to  Christ,  who  is  the  Wisdom  of  God.    Not  lone  after  he 
was  made  Bishop  of  Neocaesarea  in  his  own  country.    As  he  lay 

awake  one  night,  an  old  man  entered  his  room,  and  pointed  to  a 
lady  of  superhuman  beauty  and  radiant  with  heavenly  light.  This 
old  man  was  St.  John  the  Evangelist;  and  the  lady  told  him  to 
give  Gregory  the  instruction  he  desired.  Thereupon  he  gave 
St.  Gregory  a  creed  which  contained  in  all  its  fullness  the  doc- 
trine of  the  Trinity.  St.  Gregory  set  it  in  writing,  directed  all 
his  preaching  by  it,  and  handed  it  down  to  his  successors.  Strong 
in  this  faith,  he  subdued  demons,  he  foretold  the  future.  At  his 
word  a  rock  moved  from  its  place,  a  river  changed  its  course,  a 
lake  was  dried  up.  He  converted  his  diocese,  and  strengthened 
those  under  persecution.    He  struck  down  a  rising  heresy;  and 



when  he  was  gone,  this  creed  preserved  his  flock  from  the  Arian 
pest.    St.  Gregory  died  in  the  year  270. 

Reflection. — Devotion  to  the  blessed  Mother  of  God  is  the 
sure  protection  of  faith  in  her  Divine  Son.  Everv  time  that  we 
invoke  her,  we  renew  our  faith  in  the  Incarnate  God ;  we  reverse 
the  sin  and  unbelief  of  our  first  parents ;  we  take  our  part  with 
her  who  was  blessed  because  she  believed. 


N  Christmas-eve,  a.d.  877,  a  noble  of  Aquitaine  implored 
12/  our  Lady  to  grant  him  a  son.  His  prayer  was  heard;  Odo 
was  born,  and  his  grateful  father  offered  him  to  St.  Martin. 
Odo  grew  in  wisdom  and  in  virtue,  and  his  father  longed  to 
see  him  shine  at  court.  But  the  attraction  of  grace  was  too 
strong.  Odo's  heart  was  sad  and  his  health  failed,  until  he 
forsook  the  world,-  and  sought  refuge  under  the  shadow  of  St. 
Martin  at  Tours.    Later  on,  he  took'  the  habit  of  St.  Benedict  at 

Baume,  and  was  compelled  to  become  abbot  of  the  great  abbey  of 
Cluny,  which  was  then  building.  He  ruled  it  with  the  hand  of  a 
master  and  the  winningness  of  a  Saint.  The  Pope  sent  for  him 
often  to  act  as  peacemaker  between  contending  princes,  and  it  was 

November  19.] 



on  one  of  those  missions  of  mercy  that  he  was  taken  ill  at  Rome.  At 
his  urgent  entreaty  he  was  borne  back  to  Tours,  where  he  died  at 
the  feet  of  "his  own  St.  Martin,"  a.d.  942. 

Reflection. — "  It  needs  only,"  says  Father  Newman,  "  for  a 
Catholic  to  show  devotion  to  any  Saint,  in  order  to  receive  special 
benefits  from  his  intercession." 


^LIZABETH  was  daughter  of  a  king  of  Hungary,  and 
±L  niece  of  St.  Hedwige.  She  was  betrothed  in  infancy  to 
Louis,  Landgrave  of  Thuringia,  and  brought  up  in  his 
father's  court.  Not  content  with  receiving  daily  numbers  of  poor 
in  her  palace,  and  relieving  all  in  distress,  she  built  several  hos- 
pitals, where  she  served  the  sick,  dressing  the  most  repulsive  sores 
with  her  own  hands.  Once  as  she  was  carrying  in  the  folds  of 
her  mantle  some  provisions  for  the  poor,  she  met  her  husband 
returning  from  the  chase.  Astonished  to  see  her  bending  under 
the  weight  of  her  burden,  he  opened  the  mantle  which  she  kept 

pressed  against  her,  and  found  in  it  nothing  but  beautiful  red 
and  white  roses,  although  it  was  not  the  season  for  flowers.  Bid- 
ding her  pursue  her  way,  he  took  one  of  the  marvellous  roses, 
and  kept  it  all  his  life.    On  her  husband's  death  she  was  cruelly 



[November  20. 

driven  from  her  palace,  and  forced  to  wander  through  the  streets 
with  her  little  children,  a  prey  to  hunger  and  cold ;  but  she 
welcomed  all  her  sufferings,  and  continued  to  be  the  mother  of 
the  poor,  converting  many  by  her  holy  life.  She  died  in  1 231,  at 
the  age  of  twenty-four. 

Reflection. — This  young  and  delicate  princess  made  herself 
the  servant  and  nurse  of  the  poor.  Let  her  example  teach  us  to 
disregard  the  opinions  of  the  world  and  to  overcome  our  natural 
repugnances,  in  order  to  serve  Christ  in  the  persons  of  His  poor. 


fT.  FELIX  was  son  of  the  Count  of  Valois.  His  mother 
throughout  his  youth  did  all  she  could  to  cultivate  in  him 
a  spirit  of  charity.  The  unjust  divorce  between  his  parents 
matured  a  long-formed  resolution  of  leaving  the  world ;  and  con- 
fiding his  mother  to  her  pious  brother,  Thibault,  Count  of  Cham- 
pagne, he  took  the  Cistercian  habit  at  Clairvaux.  His  rare  vir- 
tues drew  on  him  such  admiration  that,  with  St.  Bernard's  con- 

sent, he  fled  to  Italy,  where  he  led  an  austere  life  with  an  aged 
hermit.  At  this  time  he  was  ordained  priest,  and  his  old  counsel- 
lor having  died,  he  returned  to  France,  and  for  many  years  lived 
as  a  solitary  at  Cerfroid.    Here  God  inspired  him  with  the  desire 

November  21.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  469 

of  founding  an  Order  for  the  redemption  of  Christian  captives, 
and  moved  St.  John  of  Matha,  then  a  youth,  to  conceive  a  simi- 
lar wish.  Together  they  drew  up  the  rules  of  the  Order  of  the  Holy 
Trinity.  Many  disciples  gathered  round  them ;  and  seeing  that 
the  time  had  come  for  further  action,  the  two  Saints  made  a 
pilgrimage  to  Rome  to  obtain  the  confirmation  of  the  Order  from 
Innocent  III.  Their  prayer  was  granted,  and  the  last  fifteen 
years  of  Felix's  long  life  were  spent  in  organizing  and  develop- 
ing his  rapidly  increasing  foundations.    He  died  a.d.  1213. 

Reflection. — "  Think  how  much,''  says  St.  John  Chrysostom, 
"  and  how  often  thy  mouth  has  sinned,  and  thou  wilt  devote  thy- 
self entirely  to  the  conversion  of  sinners.  For  by  this  one 
means  thou  wilt  blot  out  all  thy  sins,  in  that  thy  mouth  will  be- 
come the  mouth  of  God." 



ELIGIOUS  parents  never  fail  by  devout  prayer  to  conse- 
crate their  children  to  the  divine  service  and  love,  both  be- 
fore and  after  their  birth.    Some  amongst  the  Jews,  not 
content  with  this  general  consecration  of  their  children,  offered 

them  to  God  in  their  infancy,  by  the  hands  of  the  priests  in  the 
temple,  to  be  lodged  in  apartments  belonging  to  the  temple,  and 



[November  22. 

brought  up  in  attending  the  priests  and  Levitesinthe  sacred  minis- 
try. It  is  an  ancient  tradition,  that  the  Blessed  Virgin  Mary  was 
thus  solemnly  offered  to  God  in  the  temple  in  her  infancy.  This 
festival  of  the  Presentation  of  the  Blessed  Virgin,  the  Church  cele- 
brates this  day.  The  tender  soul  of  Mary  was  then  adorned  with 
the  most  precious  graces,  an  object  of  astonishment  and  praise  to 
the  angels,  and  of  the  highest  complacence  to  the  adorable  Trinity ; 
the  Father  looking  upon  her  as  His  beloved  daughter,  the  Son  as 
one  chosen  and  prepared  to  become  His  mother,  and  the  Holy 
Ghost  as  His  darling  spouse.  Mary  was  the  first  who  set  up  the 
standard  of  virginity  ;  and,  by  consecrating  it  by  a  perpetual  vow 
to  our  Lord,  she  opened  the  way  to  all  virgins  who  have  since 
followed  her  example. 

Reflection. — Mary's  first  presentation  to  God  was  an  offering 
most  acceptable  in  His  sight.  Let  our  consecration  of  ourselves 
to  God  be  made  under  her  patronage,  and  assisted  by  her  power- 
ful intercession  and  the  union  of  her  merits. 


N  the  evening  of  her  wedding-day,  with  the  music  of  the 
marriage-hymn  ringing  in  her  ears,  Cecilia,  a  rich,  beauti- 
ful and  noble  Roman  maiden,  renewed  the  vow  by  which 
she  had  consecrated  her  virginity  to  God.  "  Pure  be  my  heart 
and  undefiled  my  flesh ;  for  I  have  a  spouse  you  know  not  of — an 
angel  of  my  Lord."  The  heart  of  her  young  husband  Valerian 
was  moved  by  her  words ;  he  received  baptism,  and  within  a  few 
days  he  and  his  brother  Tiburtius,  who  had  been  brought  by  him 
to  a  knowledge  of  the  faith,  sealed  their  confession  with  their 
blood.  Cecilia  only  remained.  "  Do  you  not  know,"  was  her 
answer  to  the  threats  of  the  prefect,  "  that  I  am  the  bride  of  my 
Lord  Jesus  Christ  ?"  The  death  appointed  for  her  was  suffoca- 
tion, and  she  remained  a  day  and  a  night  in  a  hot-air  bath,  heated 
seven  times  its  wont.  But  "  the  flames  had  no  power  over  her 
body,  neither  was  a  hair  of  her  head  singed."  The  lictor  sent  to 
dispatch  her  struck  with  trembling  hand  the  three  blows  which 
the  law  allowed,  and  left  her  still  alive.  For  two  days  and  nights 
Cecilia  lay  with  her  head  half  severed  on  the  pavement  of  her 
bath,  fully  sensible,  and  joyfully  awaiting  her  crown  ;  on  the 

third  the  agony  was  over,  and  a.d.  177,  the  virgin  Saint  gave  back 
her  pure  spirit  to  Christ. 

Reflection. — St.  Cecilia  teaches  us  to  rejoice  in  every  sacri- 
fice as  a  pledge  of  our  love  of  Christ,  and  to  welcome  sufferings 
and  death  as  hastening  our  union  with  Him. 


T.  CLEMENT  is  said  to  have  been  a  convert  of  noble  birth, 
1  and  to  have  been  consecrated  bishop  by  St.  Peter  himself. 

With  the  words  of  the  Apostles  still  ringing  in  his  ears,  he 
began  to  rule  the  Church  of  God;  and  thus  he  was  among  the 
first,  as  he  was  among  the  most  illustrious,  in  the  long  line  of 
those  who  have  held  the  place  and  power  of  Peter.  He  lived 
at  the  same  time  and  in  the  same  city  with  Domitian,  the  perse- 
cutor of  the  Church ;  and  besides  external  foes  he  had  to  contend 
with  schism  and  rebellion  from  within.  The  Corinthian  Church 
was  torn  by  intestine  strife,  and  its  members  set  the  authority  of 
their  clergy  at  defiance.  It  was  then  that  St.  Clement  interfered 
in  the  plenitude  of  his  apostolic  authority,  and  sent  his  famous 
epistle  to  the  Corinthians.  He  urged  the  duties  of  charity,  and 
above  all  of  submission  to  the  clergy.  He  did  not  speak  in  vain ; 
peace  and  order  were  restored.    St.  Clement  had  done  his  work  on 



[November  24. 

earth,  and  shortly  after  sealed  with  his  blood  the  faith  which  he 
had  learned  from  Peter  and  taught  to  the  nations. 

Reflection. — God  rewards  a  simple  spirit  of  submission  to 
the  clergy,  for  the  honor  done  to  them  is  done  to  Him.  Your  vir- 
tue is  unreal,  your  faith  in  danger,  if  you  fail  in  this. 

\j    NOVEMBER  24. — ST.  JOHN  OF  THE  CROSS. 

tHE  father  of  St.  John  was  discarded  by  his  kindred  for  mar- 
rying a  poor  orphan,  and  the  Saint,  thus  born  and  nurtured 
in  poverty,  chose  it  also  for  his  portion.  Unable  to  learn  a 
trade,  he  became  the  servant  of  the  poor  in  the  hospital  of  Medina, 
while  still  pursuing  his  sacred  studies.  In  1563,  being  then  twenty- 
one,  he  humbly  offered  himself  as  a  lay  brother  to  the  Carmelite 
friars,  who,  however,  knowing  his  talents,  had  him  ordained  priest. 
He  would  now  have  exchanged  to  the  severe  Carthusian  Order,  had 
not  St.  Teresa,  with  the  instinct  of  a  Saint,  persuaded  him  to  remain 
and  help  her  in  the  reform  of  his  own  Order.  Thus  he  became  the 
first  prior  of  the  Barefooted  Carmelites.  His  reform,  though 
approved  by  the  general,  was  rejected  by  the  elder  friars,  who 
condemned  the  Saint  as  a  fugitive  and  apostate,  and  cast  him  into 
prison,  whence  he  only  escaped,  after  nine  months'  suffering,  at 

November  25.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 


the  risk  of  his  life.  Twice  again,  before  his  death,  he  was  shame- 
fully persecuted  by  his  brethren,  and  publicly  disgraced.  But  his 
complete  abandonment  by  creatures  only  deepened  his  interior 
peace  and  devout  longing  for  heaven. 

Reflection. — "Live  in  the  world,"  said  St.  John,  "  as  if  God 
and  your  soul  only  were  in  it;  so  shall  your  heart  be  never  made 
captive  by  any  earthly  thing." 


ATHERINE  was  a  noble  virgin  of  Alexandria.  Before  her 
baptism,  it  is  said,  she  saw  in  vision  the  Blessed  Virgin  ask 
her  Son  to  receive  her  among  His  servants,  but  the  Divine 
Infant  turned  away.  After  baptism,  Catherine  saw  the  same 
vision,  when  Jesus  Christ  received  her  with  great  affection,  and 
espoused  her  before  the  court  of  heaven.  When  the  impious 
tyrant,  Maximin  II.,  came  to  Alexandria,  fascinated  by  the 
wisdom,  beauty,  and  wealth  of  the  Saint,  he  in  vain  urged 
his  suit.  At  last  in  his  rage  and  disappointment  he  ordered  her 
to  be  stripped  and  scourged.  She  fled  to  the  Arabian  mountains, 
where  the  soldiers  overtook  her,  and  after  many  torments  put  her 



[November  26. 

to  death.  Her  body  was  laid  in  Mount  Sinai,  and  a  beautiful 
legend  relates  that  Catherine  having  prayed  that  no  man  might 
see  or  touch  her  body  after  death,  angels  bore  it  to  the  grave. 

Reflection. — The  constancy  displayed  by  the  Saints  in  their 
glorious  martyrdom  cannot  be  isolated  from  their  previous  lives, 
but  is  their  natural  sequence.  If  we  wish  to  emulate  their  perse- 
verance, let  us  first  imitate  their  fidelity  to  grace. 



T.  PETER  governed  the  Church  of  Alexandria  during  the 
persecution  of  Diocletian.  The  sentence  of  excommunica- 
tion that  he  was  the  first  to  pronounce  against  the  schis- 
matics, Melitius  and  Arius,  and  which,  despite  the  united  efforts 
of  powerful  partisans,  he  strenuously  upheld,  proves  that  he 
possessed  as  much  sagacity  as  zeal  and  firmness.  But  his  most 
constant  care  was  employed  in  guarding  his  flock  from  the  dan- 
gers arising  out  of  persecution.  He  never  ceased  repeating  to 
them  that,  in  order  not  to  fear  death,  it  was  needful  to  begin  by 
dying  to  self,  renouncing  our  will,  and  detaching  ourselves  from 

November  27.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS. 

all  things.  St.  Peter  gave  an  example  of  such  detachment  by 
undergoing  martyrdom  in  the  year  311. 

Reflection. — "  How  hardly  shall  they  that  have  riches  enter 
into  the  kingdom  of  God!"  says  our  Saviour ;  because  they  are 
bound  to  earth  by  the  strong  ties  of  their  riches. 


T.  MAXIMUS,  abbot  of  Lerins,  in  succession  to  St.  Honora- 
tus,  was  remarkable  not  only  for  the  spirit  of  recollection, 

fervor,  and  piety  familiar  to  him  from  very  childhood,  but 
still  more  for  the  gentleness  and  kindliness  with  which  he  gov- 
erned the  monastery  which  at  that  time  contained  many  religious, 
and  was  famous  for  the  learning  and  piety  of  its  brethren.  Ex- 
hibiting in  his  own  person  an  example  of  the  most  sterling  vir- 
tues, his  exhortations  could  not  fail  to  prove  all-persuasive  ;  loving 
all  his  religious,  whom  it  was  his  delight  to  consider  as  one  family, 
he  established  amongst  them  that  sweet  concord,  union,  and  holy 
emulation  for  well-doing  which  render  the  exercise  of  authority 
needless,  and  makes  submission  a  pleasure.  The  clergy  and 
people  of  Frejus,  moved  by  such  a  shining  example,  elected  Maxi- 
mus  for  their  bishop,  but  he  took  to  flight ;  subsequently,  he  was 



compelled,  however,  to  accept  the  see  of  Riez.  where  he  practised 
virtue  in  all  gentleness,  and  died  in  460,  regretted  as  the  best  of 

Reflection. — "  Masters,  do  to  your  servants  that  which  is  just 
and  equal,  knowing  that  you  also  have  a  Master  in  Heaven." 


HE  small  town  of  Montbrandon,  in  the  Marca  of  Ancona,  gave 
birth  to  this  Saint.  When  young  he  was  sent  to  the  Univer- 
sity of  Perugia,  where  his  progress  in  learning  soon  quali- 
fied him  to  be  chosen  preceptor  to  a  young  gentleman  of  Flor- 
ence. Fearing  that  he  might  be  engulfed  in  the  whirlpool  of 
worldly  excesses,  St.  James  applied  himself  to  prayer  and  recol- 
lection. When  travelling  near  Assisium,  he  went  into  the  great 
church  of  the  Portiuncula  to  pray,  and  being  animated  by  the  fer- 
vor of  the  holy  men  who  there  served  God,  and  by  the  example  of 
their  blessed  founder  St.  Francis,  he  determined  to  petition  in  that 
very  place  for  the  habit  of  the  Order.  He  began  his  spiritual  war 
against  the  devil,  the  world,  and  the  flesh,  with  assiduous  prayer 
and  extraordinary  fasts  and  watchings.    For  forty  years,  he  never 

November  29.]         LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.  477 

passed  a  day  without  taking  the  discipline.  Being  chosen  arch- 
bishop of  Milan,  he  fled,  and  could  not  be  prevailed  on  to  accept 
the  office.  He  wrought  several  miracles  at  Venice  and  at  other 
places,  and  raised  from  dangerous  sicknesses  the  Duke  of  Calabria 
and  the  King  of  Naples.  The  Saint  died  in  the  convent  of  the 
Holy  Trinity  of  his  Order,  near  Naples,  on  the  28th  of  November, 
in  the  year  1476,  being  ninety  years  old.  seventy  of  which  he  had 
spent  in  a  religious  state. 


ATURNINUS  went  from  Rome,  by  direction  of  Pope  Fabian, 
about  the  year  245,  to  preach  the  faith  in  Gaul.  He  fixed 
his  episcopal  see  at  Toulouse,  and  thus  became  the  first 
Christian  bishop  of  that  city.  There  were  but  few  Christians  in 
the  place.  However,  their  number  grew  fast  after  the  coming  of 
the  Saint ;  and  his  power  was  felt  by  the  spirits  of  evil,  who  re- 
ceived the  worship  of  the  heathen.  His  power  was  felt  the  more 
because  he  had  to  pass  daily  through  the  capitol,  the  high  place 
of  the  heathen  worship,  on  the  way  to  his  own  church.  One  day  a 
great  multitude  was  gathered  by  an  altar,  where  a  bull  stood 
ready  for  the  sacrifice.    A  man  in  the  crowd  pointed  out  Saturn- 


LIVES  OF  THE  SAINTS.         [November  30. 

inus,  who  was  passing  by,  and  the  people  would  have  forced  him  to 
idolatry;  but  the  holy  bishop  answered:  "I  know  but  one  God, 
and  to  Him  I  will  offer  the  sacrifice  of  praise.  How  can  I  fear 
gods  who,  as  you  say,  are  afraid  of  me  ?  On  this  he  was  fastened 
to  the  bull,  which  was  driven  down  the  capitol.  The  brains  of 
the  Saint  were  scattered  on  the  steps.  His  mangled  body  was 
taken  up  and  buried  by  two  devout  women. 

Reflection. — When  beset  by  the  temptations  of  the  devil,  let 
us  call  upon  the  Saints,  who  reign  with  Christ.  They  were  power- 
ful during  their  lives  against  the  devil  and  his  angels.  They  are 
more  powerful  now  that  they  have  passed  from  the  Church  on 
earth  to  the  Church  triumphant. 


T.  ANDREW  was  one  of  the  fishermen  of  Bethsaida,  and 
brother,  perhaps  elder  brother,  of  St.  Peter,  and  became  a 
disciple  of  St.  John  Baptist.  He  seemed  always  eager  to  bring 
others  into  notice ;  when  called  himself  by  Christ  on  the  banks  of 
the  Jordan,  his  first  thought  was  to  go  in  search  of  his  brother,  and 
he  said,  "  We  have  found  the  Messias,"  and  he  brought  him  to 
Jesus.    It  was  he  again  who,  when  Christ  wished  to  feed  the  five 

December  I.] 



thousand  in  the  desert,  pointed  out  the  little  lad  with  the  five 
loaves  and  fishes.  St.  Andrew  went  forth  upon  his  mission  to 
plant  the  faith  in  Scythia  and  Greece,  and  at  the  end  of  years 
of  toil  to  win  a  martyr's  crown.  After  suffering  a  cruel  scours:- 
ing  at  Patras  in  Achaia,  he  was  left,  bound  by  cords,  to  die 
upon  a  cross.  When  St.  Andrew  first  caught  sight  of  the  gibbet 
on  which  he  was  to  die,  he  greeted  the  precious  wood  with  joy. 

"  O,  good  cross  !"  he  cried,  "  made  beautiful  by  the  limbs  of  Christ, 
so  long  desired,  now  so  happily  found!  Receive  me  into  thy 
arms,  and  present  me  to  my  Master,  that  He  who  redeemed  me 
through  thee  may  now  accept  me  from  thee."  Two  whole  days 
the  martyr  remained  hanging  on  this  cross  alive,  preaching,  with 
outstretched  arms  from  this  chair  of  truth,  to  all  who  came  near, 
and  entreating  them  not  to  hinder  his  passion. 

Reflection. — If  we  would  do  good  to  others,  we  must,  like 
St.  Andrew,  keep  close  to  the  Cross. 


LIGIUS,  a  goldsmith  at  Paris,  was  commissioned  by  King 
Clotaire  to  make  a  throne.    With  the  gold  and  precious 
stones  given  him  he  made  two.    Struck  by  his  rare  honesty, 
the  king  gave  him  an  appointment  at  court,  and  demanded  an 



oath  of  fidelity  sworn  upon  holy  relics ;  but  Eligius  prayed  with 
tears  to  be  excused,  for  fear  of  failing  in  reverence  to  the  relics  of 
the  Saints.  On  entering  the  court,  he  fortified  himself  against  its 
seductions  by  many  austerities  and  continual  ejaculatory  prayers. 
He  had  a  marvellous  zeal  for  the  redemption  of  captives,  and  for 
their  deliverance  would  sell  his  jewels,  his  food,  his  clothes,  and 
his  very  shoes,  once  by  his  prayers  breaking  their  chains  and  open- 
ing their  prisons.  His  great  delight  was  in  making  rich  shrines 
for  relics.  His  striking  virtue  caused  him,  a  layman  and  a  gold- 
smith, to  be  made  Bishop  of  Noyon ;  and  his  sanctity  in  this  holy 

office  was  remarkable.  He  possessed  the  gifts  of  miracles  and 
prophecy,  and  died. in  665. 

Reflection. — When  God  called  His  Saints  to  himself,  He 
might,  had  He  so  pleased,  have  taken  their  bodies  also ;  but  he 
willed  to  leave  them  in  our  charge,  for  our  help  and  consolation. 
Be  careful  to  imitate  St.  Eligius  in  making  a  good  use  of  so  great 
a  treasure. 


T.  BIBIANA  was  a  native  of  Rome.    Flavian,  her  father, 
was  apprehended,  burned  in  the  face  with  a  hot  iron,  and 
banished  to  Acquapendente,  where  he  died  of  his  wounds  a 
few  days  after ;  and  her  mother,  Dafrosa,  was  some  time  after 

December  3.] 



beheaded.  Bibiana  and  her  sister  Demetria,  after  the  death  of 
their  parents,  were  stripped  of  all  they  had  in  the  world  and  suf- 
fered much  from  poverty.  Apronianus,  Governor  of  Rome,  sum- 
moned them  to  appear  before  him.  Demetria,  having  made  confes- 
sion of  her  faith,  fell  down  and  expired  at  the  foot  of  the  tribunal,  in 
the  presence  of  the  judge.  Apronianus  gave  orders  that  Bibiana 
should  be  put  into  the  hands  of  a  wicked  woman  named  Rufina, 
who  was  to  bring  her  to  another  way  of  thinking;  but  Bibiana, 
making  prayer  her  shield,  remained  invincible.    Apronianus,  en- 

raged at  the  courage  and  perseverance  of  a  tender  virgin,  ordered 
her  to  be  tied  to  a  pillar  and  whipped  with  scourges  loaded  with 
leaden  plummets  till  she  expired.  The  Saint  underwent  this 
punishment  cheerfully,  and  died  in  the  hands  of  the  executioners. 

Reflection. — Pray  for  a  fidelity  and  patience  like  Bibiana's 
under  all  trials,  that  neither  convenience  nor  any  worldly  advan- 
tage may  ever  prevail  upon  you  to  transgress  your  duty. 


YOUNG  Spanish  gentleman,  in  the  dangerous  days  of  the 
Reformation,  was  making  a  name  for  himself  as  a  Profes- 
sor of  Philosophy  in  the  University  of  Paris,  and  had 
seemingly  no  higher  aim,  when  St.  Ignatius,  of  Loyola,  won  him 



[December  4. 

to  heavenly  thoughts.  After  a  brief  apostolate  amongst  his  country- 
men in  Rome,  he  was  sent  by  St.  Ignatius  to  the  Indies,  where  for 
twelve  years  he  was  to  wear  himself  out,  bearing  the  Gospel  to 
Hindostan,  to  Malacca,  and  to  Japan.  Thwarted  by  the  jealousy, 
covetousness,  and  carelessness  of  those  who  should  have  helped 
and  encouraged  him,  neither  their  opposition  nor  the  difficulties 
of  every  sort  which  he  encountered  could  make  him  slacken  his 
labors  for  souls.    The  vast  kingdom  of  China  appealed  to  his 

charity,  and  he  was  resolved  to  risk  his  life  to  force  an  entry,  when 
God  took  him  to  Himself,  and  on  the  2d  of  December,  1552,  he 
died,  like  Moses,  in  sight  of  the  land  of  promise. 

Reflection. — Some  are  special